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pakistan
Tuesday Jul 20 2021
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Pak vs Eng: Pitch invader trying to get a selfie with English team manhandled by guards

Muhammad Ayshaam, 25, from Oldham, said he wanted to have fun and to get a selfie with the closest player. Photo: Geo News correspondent
Muhammad Ayshaam, 25, from Oldham, said he wanted to have fun and to get a selfie with the closest player. Photo: Geo News correspondent

LONDON: A cricket fan who invaded the pitch during Pakistan’s second T20 against England at Headingley has complained he was beaten black and blue by the security guards.

Speaking to Geo News from the accident and emergency unit of the Oldham Hospital, Muhammad Ayshaam, 25, from Oldham, said he wanted to have fun and get a selfie with the closest player Adil Rashid when storming the pitch towards the end of the match.

Live scenes showed Ayshaam storming the pitch by dodging at least five security guards on his way, making it straight to Rashid, pausing there for three seconds to attempt a selfie and then running back to the stands, successfully dodging the security men chasing to get hold of him. 

Thousands of cricket fans cheered and clapped as Ayshaam flipped his way back to the crowd and ran up the stands to melt into the crowd, while the security men continued their chase.

But Ayshaam, who works in a warehouse and was carrying a “free Palestine” flag with him when invading the pitch, says he was beaten “very badly” by the security guards. As he was running out, an English fan stuck his leg out to drop him and then two Pakistani security guards tried to grab him and Ayshaam dodged them too.

Then four to five security guards chased him and one of them tackled Ayshaam on the ground.

He says: “I fell on the concrete with full force. I have deep cuts on [my[ left elbow and on both hands. I couldn’t stand when they tripped and pushed me. They also dragged me even when I requested to sit down on [the] floor. My left foot was in so much pain. I couldn’t stand and they carried on dragging and pushing me.”

He added: “I wasn’t violent nor was I a threat to anybody. I have [a] back problem and neck injury and big swelling on my foot. I have been in the hospital for over 10 hours and received treatment for my deep wounds. I didn’t deserve this.”

Ayshaam says he has made a complaint to the police against the security guards for the excessive use of force.

The English Cricket Board and other sporting managements have declared that invading pitches by fans is unacceptable and those involved in anti-social behaviour will be dealt with the full force of regulations and laws.