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International Cricket Council calls for investigation over crowd trouble at Afghanistan vs Pakistan T20 World Cup Game

International Cricket Council calls for investigation over crowd trouble at Afghanistan vs Pakistan T20 World Cup Game
November 2, 2021

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called on the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to "undertake a thorough investigation" following into crowd trouble at last Friday’s T20 World Cup game between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With the ICC advising that more than 16,000 tickets had been issued for the game at the Dubai International Stadium, reports indicated that thousands of ticketless fans arrived at the venue and then attempted to force entry into the stadium.

In a statement, the ICC said that these fans “then attempted to force entry" with at least one external barrier pushed over while a mass of supporters gathered outside the Stadium's main gates throughout the game itself.

The statement continued "Dubai Police and security staff secured the stadium to ensure the safety of everyone inside and brought in significant additional resources to disperse the crowd and calm the situation.

"At approximately 7pm, Dubai Police directed that all gates should remain closed and no further entry was permitted to maintain a safe and controlled environment inside the venue.

"The ICC has asked the ECB to undertake a thorough investigation into tonight's events to learn any lessons and will work closely with authorities to ensure there is no repeat of this situation in the future."

Fans have been permitted at 70-80% capacity throughout the World Cup depending on local restrictions, with tickets for matches involving Asian teams selling well.

The ICC's statement included an apology to "any fans with valid tickets who were unable to enter the stadium tonight", who were advised to contact the ticket provider.

Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan's captain, said in his post-match press conference “for the Afghan fans, please buy a ticket and come to the stadium. Don't repeat again. This is not good."

The sides' previous World Cup meeting, in the UK in 2019, had been marred by crowd trouble, security lapses and pitch invasions.

Relocated from India to the UAE and Oman, the T20 World Cup runs until 14th November.

Host venues include Dubai International Stadium (pictured), the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.

Despite the tournament having been relocated, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is still serving as the host of the tournament.

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