England vs India: West Midlands Police investigate racist abuse claims among crowd at Edgbaston

West Midlands Police have launched a criminal investigation after allegations that racial abuse was directed towards Indian fans at the England vs. India test match at Edgbaston on Monday Credit: PA Images

A criminal investigation by West Midlands Police is underway after allegations that racist abuse was aimed at spectators during the fourth day of the test match between England and India at Edgbaston.

Edgbaston officials and the ECB are working to investigate after the allegations made over social media were highlighted by former cricketer, Azeem Rafiq.

The former Yorkshire player Rafiq, who spoke out earlier this year about the abuse he faced in the sport, said it was "disappointing to read", and flagged several of the allegations on his Twitter account.

A reply from the official Edgbaston Twitter account in response to Rafiq said: "We're incredibly sorry to read this and do not condone this behaviour in anyway.

"We'll be investigating this ASAP."

It comes as India fans took to social media after the close of play on Monday evening to share pictures and videos of racial slurs being used, amid claims that stewards did nothing and simply told them to "sit back down".

Rafiq, who has become a campaigner against racism in cricket, used the hashtag #EnoughisEnough calling on a full investigation from Edgbaston and the ECB.

Stuart Cain, chief executive at Edgbaston, said: "I’m gutted by these reports as we’re working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all. 

"Having seen the initial tweets, I’ve spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we’re now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened. 

"Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we’ve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly."

It's after number of allegations were made over Twitter by fans by last night:

The England and Wales Cricket Board said on their official Twitter: “We are very concerned to hear reports of racist abuse at today’s Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston who will investigate.

"There is no place for racism in cricket.”

West Midlands Police is urging anyone with information to get in touch.

A spokesperson for the force said: "We’ve launched a criminal investigation into reports of racist, abusive behaviour at the test match in Birmingham yesterday.

"We’re liaising with Edgbaston officials to understand what’s happened and would encourage anyone who heard any racist language or gestures, or has video footage that could help, to get in touch.

"We’re aware of images circulating on social media showing an alleged offender. We’re making enquiries to identify the person and would urge him to come forward and speak to us.

"Anyone with information can message us on Live Chat through our website or call 101. Please quote crime ref 20-613293-22."