Cricket: Kent squad to stop streakers

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The Independent Online
AN ANTI-STREAKER squad has been enlisted as part of the security measures for England's World Cup Group A match against Kenya at Canterbury today. The chill wind gusting across the St Lawrence Ground yesterday would hardly encourage anyone to strip off, but nevertheless Kent are taking no chances.

Half-a-dozen stewards will make up the squad for the match, which is set to attract a sell-out crowd of 9,600. Bernard Thompson, Kent's assistant secretary, said: "We've have got a group of young people together to prevent it happening. The plan will be to spot the people who might try it on and stop them getting on to the pitch. We don't want a silly chase around the outfield."

The team will be part of a group of 115 stewards on duty for England's first international match at Kent's headquarters. That is two-thirds more than would usually be employed for a Kent fixture. Ten police officers will also be on duty, but county officials are not expecting trouble. Additionally, spectators will not be allowed to bring alcohol into the ground, and cool boxes will be searched at the gate.

BBC Scotland yesterday claimed it was forced into a balancing act with its World Cup coverage to satisfy the demands of Scotland's Pakistani community. The broadcaster suspended coverage of Scotland's match with Australia at Worcester after the first hour to switch to a live broadcast of the West Indies' meeting with Pakistan at Bristol instead. That prompted a series of complaints from Scottish fans, including the parents of the side's captain, George Salmond, who had been unable to make the trip down from Arbroath for health reasons.

The BBC did rejoin the Scottish innings for the closing 10 overs, and when it did so the response was a series of calls from angry Pakistani viewers who had settled into watching their team's game.

A BBC Scotland spokesman, Roy Templeton, said: "We would apologise to those who felt they didn't get the coverage they were expecting, but we had set out what we going to do in advance.

"When a clash like this happens you are never going to please everyone and when we moved away from the Pakistan and West Indies match we had complaints from Scotland's large Pakistani community.

"In the end we received a number of calls from both Scotland and Pakistan supporters, but can inform both that we should have uninterrupted coverage of both this Thursday as they play each other."

The BBC could have stayed with the Scotland game north of the border and only made the change in England, but decided there was equal interest in both fixtures.

Templeton insisted: "We did have a look at whether we should have regionalised the coverage and took the view that cricket fans would probably want to see action from both games."

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