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Cricket: Protesters interrupt Ashes Test match

June 28, 2023

Just Stop Oil protesters briefly interrupted the second Ashes Test at Lord's between England and Australia, before unceremoniously being removed from the field.

England's Johnny Bairstow carries a Just Stop Oil protester off the pitch during day one of the second Ashes Test cricket match at Lord's Cricket Ground
Bairstow had to return to the locker room to clear off the orange powder after the incidentImage: Mike Egerton/AP/picture alliance

Protesters from the Just Stop Oil group disrupted Wednesday's Test match between England and Australia at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London.

Two environmental activists ran onto the grass during the first morning of the second Ashes Test — the prestigious series of games between the historic rivals.

The protesters scattered orange powder on the ground, mimicking spectacles carried out by members of the group at other major sporting events.

"We are aware of protesters on the Lord's Cricket Ground pitch today. Police have arrested three people and taken them into custody," the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

What did the Just Stop Oil protesters do at Lords?

The two men appeared after England's James Anderson had finished the first over to Australian batsman David Warner.

They were quickly tackled by security staff as well as players. England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow carried off one of the protesters.

A demonstrator throws colored powder on the pitch during day one of the second Ashes Test cricket match at Lord's Cricket Ground
Ground staff cleared up the orange powder within five minutesImage: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/picture alliance

A third protester was apprehended before making it onto the grounds.

The orange powder landed on the grass, but not on the pitch directly. Play resumed after around five minutes once ground staff had cleared up the powder.

Just Stop Oil protests at sporting events

Just Stop Oil has carried out protest actions at the World Snooker Championships, the British Formula One Grand Prix, the Premiership rugby union final and at several Premier League soccer matches.

Their members also made headlines by throwing soup on a painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

The group, who were booed by spectators at Lords, demand that the UK government stop issuing new licenses for oil, gas and coal projects.

"It's time for cricket lovers and all those who understand the severity of this situation, to get onto the streets and demand action from this illegitimate, criminal government," a spokesperson for the group said.

ab/lo (Reuters, AFP, AP)