Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) members face restrictions on their movements and more space between them and players in the Lord’s Long Room as investigations continue into the second Ashes Test.
Australia faced a mixed reception at Headingley on Thursday, with the country’s national anthem booed by some sections of the crowd before play on day one.
The largest boos were unsurprisingly saved for Alex Carey and Pat Cummins, with the pair viewed as Australia’s chief villains in England for Carey’s controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow.
But while some fans still posed with players for photos before play in Leeds, the use of camera phones was condemned by MCC chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown in an email to members.
In a lengthy address, Carnegie-Brown said members who had abused Australia’s players on day five at Lord’s had brought shame to the entire Marylebone Cricket Club. He also criticised members for posting videos of the drama, which has brought the full extent of the abuse Australia copped to light.
“The video footage captured on Sunday (including some which was taken in clear breach of our regulations) is there for all to see,” Carnegie-Brown said. “The members shown on camera have brought shame on MCC. Their actions hinder our efforts to promote the positive things our club does to promote and celebrate the game.”
As a result of Sunday’s drama, which included players being sworn at, abused, and tripped over as they walked up the stairs, MCC will distance players from fans for the rest of the summer.
The measures will include proving a wider roped-off space for players to walk through the Long Room away from members, while also stopping members from being on the stairs when players come on and off the pitch.
The rules will come into place for Australia’s women’s T20I against England on Saturday night. MCC have already suspended three members for directly confronting Australia’s men’s players, and have asked people to help identify other culprits.
“The behavioural issue amongst members that day does not end there,” Carnegie-Brown said. “Were more evidence to come to light, and additional witness statements gathered, further disciplinary sanctions would undoubtedly be warranted.
“We encourage any member with information that could lead to the identification of others involved to come forward.
“It is unacceptable for any of us to point the finger of blame at others unless we are willing to intervene ourselves when we see behaviours which fall short of what is expected of members.”