Pitch invaders use Lord's covers as giant slip 'n slide

Two pitch invaders will reportedly need to cough up nearly $2000 apiece after jumping the fence at a rain-soaked Lord’s and using the covers as a water slide.

The weather meant there was no play on the first day of the second Test between England and India at the famed cricket ground on Thursday.

Early morning overcast skies in north London eventually gave way to gentle but persistent rain that was sufficient to ensure the pitch and square remained fully covered.

The match had been due to start at 11:00am but with rain still falling and the skies above Lord’s increasingly dark, the umpires called it a day at 4:50pm.

Just before that, however, two male fans made fools of themselves.

The men were whisked away after taking a short break from the stands. Pic: Getty/Reuters

The men, one dressed in pants and a shirt and the other in more casual gear, both went for a dip on the covers.

They were whisked away by Lord’s security and looked worse for wear.

BBC editor Neil Henderson reported that the men were fined £1000 ($1740) and charged under the Public Order Act.

The fines compare favourably to jumping the fence at most cricket grounds in Australia – where the cost can be upwards of $5000 – but the announcement would have dissuaded any others thinking of following in the fans’ footsteps.

It was the first time a whole day’s Test play in England had been lost to bad weather since August 24, 2013, when the fourth day of the fifth Ashes clash at The Oval was abandoned without a ball bowled.

The last time a day’s Test play was washed out completely at Lord’s came 17 years ago when the scheduled opening day of the first Test against Pakistan was abandoned on May 17, 2001.

The Telegraph reports Lord’s will refund about £2m (AU$3.4m) worth of tickets – though insurance and the flow of beer and food sold throughout the day will minimise the damage.

Officials later confirmed they would look to conduct the toss at 10:30am on Friday, with a view to an 11:00am start and that 98 overs, rather than the standard 90, would be scheduled for the second day in a bid to make-up lost playing time.

England lead the current five-match series 1-0 after a 31-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

They will, however, make at least two changes to their side.

England captain Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that Ollie Pope, a 20-year-old Surrey batsman, would make his Test debut in place of the dropped Dawid Malan.

Lord’s saw no action otherwise on a gloomy day one. Pic: Getty

Pope will become the fourth player under 21 to represent England in Test cricket this year, following Mason Crane, Dominic Bess and Sam Curran.

England will be without Ben Stokes at Lord’s because of the all-rounder’s ongoing trial for affray in Bristol.

Stokes took three wickets on Sunday’s fourth and last day at Edgbaston, including the prize scalp of India captain Virat Kohli.

England have yet to decide whether Chris Woakes, a fellow pace-bowling all-rounder, or off-spinner Moeen Ali will replace Stokes.

Neither England nor India, who might also make changes, are obliged to confirm their teams until the toss takes place.

with AFP