Just Stop Oil delay England's return to Test cricket action - by blocking team vehicles on way to Ireland match

1 June 2023, 15:29

Jonny Bairstow posted a picture of the eco-zealots who were blocking his way into Lord's ahead of the beginning of England's Test season
Jonny Bairstow posted a picture of the eco-zealots who were blocking his way into Lord's ahead of the beginning of England's Test season. Picture: Jonny Bairstow

By Chay Quinn

England's Test summer was disrupted by Just Stop Oil protestors - as the eco-warriors blocked the team bus on its way to Lord's in their latest sporting protest.

Jonny Bairstow posted a photo on his Instagram story on Thursday morning, which showed Just Stop Oil protesters and police officers in front of their team coach in the middle of a road in Kensington by England's hotel.

Bairstow's caption read: "If we're a bit late, it's not our fault."

However, there was no delay to proceedings on the opening day of the one-off Test against Ireland with the four-day contest getting under way at 11am as planned - despite the five-minute delay to the team's journey.

Just Stop Oil protesters were able to disrupt the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham between Saracens and Sale last weekend.

Two men wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts invaded the pitch midway through the first half and threw orange paint powder onto the field before being removed by security staff.

Read More: Just Stop Oil protesters halt Premiership Rugby final as fans cheer eco-activist being dragged off pitch by player

Read More: ‘Civil disobedience gets results’: Just Stop Oil activist clashes with Ben Kentish

Bairstow overcame the set-back to lead England to take seven wickets in the morning session of the Test against Ireland
Bairstow overcame the set-back to lead England to take seven wickets in the morning session of the Test against Ireland. Picture: Getty

A similar incident occurred at the Crucible during the World Snooker Championship in April.

Robert Milkins' match against Joe Perry was interrupted when a man wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt jumped on to table one and tipped orange powder over the cloth.

Amid the threat of potential protests this week at Lord's, the MCC said it has enhanced its security measures in some areas for this match.

"We look forward to welcoming players and spectators to the first international Test match of the summer at Lord's. Their safety and security is the highest priority for MCC," an MCC spokesperson told the PA news agency.

"We have a number of ground regulations that help us achieve that; including not entering the playing area or demonstrating.

"Whilst protests would disrupt the game, we have a number of security measures in place, some visible, some less so to deter this. In some areas we have enhanced those existing provisions ahead of this summer's schedule."

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