Edgbaston are set to launch an investigation into claims that fans at the ground were racially abused on the fourth day of play during the ongoing England-India Test.
A number of tweets by fans in attendance had earlier complained not only about receiving racist abuse at the ground, but also that their complaints to stewards fell on deaf ears.
The official Bharat Army Twitter account posted a message, saying: “Sad to say many of our members experienced racist abuse from a very small minority of individuals. We will work with Edgbaston to share all your feedback. Thank you to those England fans who stood by us.”
Azeem Rafiq, the former England Under 19 captain whose initial allegations of racism at his time at Yorkshire kickstarted a wide-ranging investigation into racism at the county, highlighted a number of tweets from spectators who were at the ground.
One account Rafiq retweeted, tweeted the following attached with a photo of a pair of stewards in the Eric Hollies Stand: “Racist behaviour at Edgbaston towards Indian fans in block 22 Eric Hollies. People calling us Curry C**ts and P*** bas****s [sic]. 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.”
The same Twitter user then posted: “We were also fearful of our safety for women and children but no assistance when we left. This is unacceptable in todays [sic] society.”
In a statement, Edgbaston chief executive Stuart Cain said that he was “gutted” by the reports of racism. He 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.
“Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we’ve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly.”
Responding to the allegations, the ECB said: “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.”