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  1. ITV Report

Oval cricket ground evacuated after 'metal-tipped arrow' found on pitch

  • Video report by ITV News sports correspondent Ian Payne

Armed police have evacuated the Oval cricket ground after what appeared to be a crossbow bolt was found on the pitch.

Play was has been abandoned in the County Championship clash between Surrey and Middlesex after what one player described as a "metal-tipped arrow" was fired into the ground.

One witness described seeing players and umpires running off the field before fans were told to move inside, and pictures on social media showed armed police on the scene.

Police believe the arrow came from outside the cricket ground. There were no reports of injuries.

England and Middlesex batsman Nick Compton, who was batting at 28 not out at the time, joked: "Sir Robin of Loxley has just arrived at the Oval."

Compton and his colleague John Simpson were at the crease as the arrow landed on the field.

Armed police were called to the cricket ground Credit: PA

The game, which was initially suspended after the first ball of the 69th over, was declared a draw.

A spokesman for Surrey said: "We were about to bowl the next ball and the arrow appeared two pitches to the side of the pitch we're playing on at the moment.

"The umpires took it out of the ground and got the players off as quickly as possible."

The arrow was fired on to the pitch at Kia Oval ground Credit: Surrey County Cricket Club/PA Wire

David Schofield, from London, said he had been told by three armed officers that as many as two arrows had been fired into the grounds.

He was quoted as saying: "They said there were two fired from the north east corner of the OCS stand of which one, they think, hit the roof.

"They were definite it was from outside the stand."

Police said they believe the arrow came from 'outside of the ground' Credit: @AntVidler2/PA

Middlesex fan Jeremy Lawrence saw players being rushed off the pitch shortly after the arrow landed.

He said: "I was sitting by the players' entrance talking to a fan and all of a sudden I saw all of the players and the umpires run off the pitch.

"I thought, 'it's not raining, what's going on?' and one of the Surrey cricketers, Rikki Clarke, said 'somebody's fired an arrow on to the pitch'."

Police were called to the cricket ground at 4.35pm.

Scotland Yard said that 1,068 spectators had been evacuated from the ground, and that they were keeping an "open mind" as to motive.

A police spokesman said: "At this stage, the incident is not being treated as terrorism-related."