Cricket: Warwickshire's crowd control worry

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The Independent Online

Warwickshire are to seek reassurances from Glamorgan that adequate crowd controls will be enforced for their NatWest Trophy semi-final at Cardiff on 15 August.

A Sunday League game between the two sides at Sophia Gardens 10 days ago was marred by crowd disturbances.

A bottle was thrown on to the visitors' dressing-room balcony, narrowly missing the batsman Andy Moles. Dougie Brown, the Warwickshire all-rounder, had a punch thrown at him as he left the pitch and other Warwickshire players complained of verbal abuse from a section of the crowd.

Warwickshire want extra police and stewards to be brought in for the semi-final, which will attract a 6,000 all-ticket capacity crowd.

"It wasn't nice what happened down there the other week and our players were upset," Dennis Amiss, Warwickshire's chief executive, said. "They have to put all that to the back of their minds and concentrate on winning the semi-final.

Warwickshire's South African paceman, Allan Donald, described the behaviour of certain sections of the Cardiff crowd as the worst he had seen on a cricket ground and said he might not play if they were drawn away to Glamorgan in the semi-finals. But he said yesterday: "We have got to go down there and win the semi-final and I will definitely play.''

While Glamorgan's only appearance in the final came 18 years ago, it will be Warwickshire's fifth successive semi-final and they will be attempting to extend their record of 64 wins.

The NatWest was the one competition to elude Warwickshire last season as they achieved a unique hat-trick of domestic triumphs.

Yorkshire take on Northamptonshire in the other semi-final. It is 13 years since the White Rose county last reached the semi-final stage of domestic cricket's premier one-day competition.

"We couldn't have asked for anything more than a home draw," said David Byas, currently captaining the side in the absence of injury victim Martyn Moxon.

It will be Northamptonshire's eighth successive major one-day semi-final away from home. And their chief executive, Steve Coverdale, admitted: "It will be like going into the lion's den."

NATWEST TROPHY (matches to be played on Tuesday, 15 August). Yorkshire v Northamptonshire; Glamorgan v Warwickshire.