Cricket: Fairbrother hits at crowd

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LANCASHIRE players would prefer to be away from the club's headquarters at Old Trafford, according to the club captain, Neil Fairbrother. 'We are sick to death of the stick we get from a certain section of the crowd,' Fairbrother said yesterday.

'If it were just this season, particularly the last few weeks when we have hit on hard times, it would not be so bad. If it were just a few fans venting their frustration over a bad performance we could take that. But it's neither. This brutal barracking has gone on for at least 10 years. We are coming to the stage where we would prefer to play away.'

Fairbrother cited Wasim Akram's treatment in the recent Roses game. 'He sent down two or three overs just to loosen up and they were at him with things like 'get back to your sick-bed' '. Wasim had career-best match figures of 12 for 125, but Lancashire still lost. Since being favourites to win the Benson and Hedges Cup, and losing to Derbyshire, Lancashire have sunk to 15th in the Championship. Playing contracts are being considered this week.

New Yorkshire regulations at Headingley and Scarborough could result in the ejection of spectators not only for 'foul and abusive language' but also for 'excessive or inappropriate singing or chanting or causing undue disturbance'.