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County cricket match abandoned as 'crossbow bolt' lands on field

897   //    31 Aug 2017, 21:48 IST
Crossbow arrow - cropped
An umpire holds the metal arrow fired onto the pitch during the match at The Oval

A County Championship match between Surrey and Middlesex was abandoned on Thursday due to a remarkable incident that saw an apparent crossbow bolt land on the square at The Oval.

Initial reports suggested a metal-tipped arrow, which landed on the playing surface as the match was ongoing, had been fired from outside the ground.

A tweet from Middlesex's official account confirmed play had been suspended "on advice of security" and featured a picture of the object being held by an umpire.

After the players had been taken from the field and spectators told to take cover inside the stands, BBC Radio 5 Live confirmed armed police had arrived at the ground.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "Police were made aware at 16:35hrs on Thursday, 31 August of reports that an arrow or crossbow bolt had been loosed into the Oval Cricket ground.

"Officers are on scene. The ground is in the process of a controlled evacuation. There are no reported injuries.

"At this early stage it is believed that the object came from outside of the ground.

"There have been no arrests. We retain an open mind as to motive. Enquiries continue."

BBC Radio London commentator Mark Church said: "I have never known anything like this at a cricket match. This is a major incident now.

"It's an extraordinary scene. All the seats are empty and everyone is indoors."

The match was duly abandoned as a draw, while police confirmed the incident was "not being treated as terrorism-related".


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