Collapse of temporary stand leaves three injured during one-off T20I between England and West Indies
What's the story?
In what could have proved to be a major disaster, a temporary stand set up at the Emirates Riverside in Chester-le-Street, Durham, for the one-off T20I between England and West Indies collapsed during the course of the match.
However, most of the spectators had a lucky escape with reports indicating that only three people suffered injuries, including a female spectator who fell through a hole in the floor that had caved in partially.
The incident took place in the north-east corner of the ground shortly before 9.30pm, while England was batting.
In a statement, Durham County Cricket Club said: “During the course of the second innings between England v West Indies at Emirates Riverside, three spectators were injured when a small section of the North-East Terrace flooring became unstable causing them to fall.
“Stewards took precautionary action and evacuated that area of the stand efficiently. The stand is a permanent fixture at the venue and had passed inspections in the week prior to the match.”
In case you didn't know....
The match at Durham saw a repeat of the 2016 World T20 final at the Eden Gardens which West Indies won in spectacular fashion thanks to those four consecutive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite.
The result went once again in West Indies' favour on Saturday as well, as the hosts were dismissed for 155 after being set up a target of 177 runs.
Sunil Narine was adjudged the Man of the Match for his figures of 4-0-15-2.
The heart of the matter
The significance of the one-off T20I between England and West Indies had already been called into question before the fixture, and on matchday, matters off the field presumed significance.
Rain played spoilsport for a brief spell and the partial collapse of the stand would have turned into a major disaster, but thankfully no serious damage occurred.
Timely intervention by the medical authorities and the stewards meant that the injured were taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital and the entire section of the stand that collapsed was also sealed off soon after the incident.
Spectators numbering around 200, who had been seated in that section of the ground, were shifted to other empty seats in the 17000-capacity stadium.
The playing conditions at Durham were also something the visitors raised concerns about as the bitter cold and the rain made it a tough outing for the players.
Though Durham County officials chose to downplay the incident, it is a huge embarrassment to the ECB, especially coming just months after they had hosted the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup.
With the 2019 ICC World Cup set to be hosted by England, the ECB will be keen to ensure that such an incident doesn't occur in the future.
Durham was hosting its only international fixture of the year and it was understandable that a sizeable crowd turned out for the match on Saturday.
It is a big lapse on the part of the ground officials that such an incident happened, no matter how little the damage caused.
It could have proved to be much worse and it is vital that measures are put in place to ensure safety first rather than providing more seats to boost ticket sales.