Birmingham Police on Friday confirmed the arrest of a 32-year-old man for a ‘racially aggravated public order offence’ after reports of an Indian fan was racially abused during the India-England Edgbaston Test. The incident took place on the fourth day of the rescheduled fifth Test, where Indian fans voiced their concerns on Twitter to reveal that they were subjected to racist abuse.
The local police have also confirmed that the arrested man is currently in custody and is under questioning. "A 32-year-old man has been arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence after reports of racist, abusive behaviour at the test match in #Birmingham on Monday. He remains in custody for questioning," the official handle of Birmingham Police tweeted.
The allegations were made by the Twitter user and member of Bharat Army (fan club of the Indian cricket team) Anil Sehmi, who talked about how people were calling him racial slurs. The tweet said, “Racist behaviour at @Edgbaston towards Indian fans in block 22 Eric Hollies. People calling us Curry C**ts and paki bas****s. We reported it to the stewards and showed them the culprits at least 10 times but no response and all we were told is to sit in our seats. @ECB_cricket”.
The English Cricket Board and Edgbaston had hence started an investigation on the allegations of racist abuse among the crowd. Chief Executive of the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Stuart Cain released a statement and talked about his disappointment with the incident.
The statement said, “I’m gutted by these reports as we’re working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all. Having seen the initial tweets, I’ve spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we’re now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.”
Similarly, the England and Wales Cricket Board also addressed the incident as very concerning and regurgitated their stance on racism. “We are very concerned to hear reports of racist abuse at today’s Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston, who will investigate. There is no place for racism in cricket,” read an ECB statement.