Player hit by can of lager at Lord's

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The Independent Online

A can of lager hit Australian cricketer Michael Bevan in the face yesterday amid ugly crowd scenes after his team beat Pakistan in the NatWest one-day final at Lord's.

The batsman was hit by a full can as balls, bottles and an egg were hurled at the pavilion balcony during the presentation ceremony. The incident, at the end of two weeks of crowd trouble during the series, could lead to legislation making pitch invasion a criminal offence. The match itself, an easy win for the Australians, had passed without trouble.

Bevan was seen by a doctor and questioned by police. His cheek is bruised, but no bones are broken. "I was just lucky," he said. The police made no immediate arrest, but Sky TV claims to have identified the can-thrower on film.

Security was stepped up for yesterday's game. Supporters were body searched and horns and flags confiscated.

Roger Knight, chief executive of the MCC, said the incident was "an absolute disgrace". Australian captain Steve Waugh, a persistent critic of crowd control on English grounds, said: "Someone will be killed. No doubt about it."