The ECB have introduced new security measures for next season Twenty20 Cup in an attempt to protect the atmosphere and spirit of county cricket for the benefit of all spectators, players and officials.

A working party under the leadership of Gordon Hollins, Head of Venues, has recommended a number of initiatives following some isolated incidents of unruly behaviour at matches last season.

The selling of alcohol will now be restricted to ground sales only, extra security will be in place for the players and a special training scheme for stewards introduced.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “We have a great tradition of sporting crowds at cricket in England and Wales and so were concerned by a limited number of examples last season which, if not addressed, could lead to a decline in the standards of behaviour we are seeking to preserve at cricket events in this country.
“I am delighted that Gordon Hollins and his team have worked so closely with the venues to come up with a series of excellent proposals which will allow all cricket spectators to maximise their enjoyment of the cricket next summer.”

Gordon Hollins added: “There was a real consensus among the stakeholders that we should extend many of the procedures that are familiar at international games to domestic Twenty20 cricket.
“These include grounds being encouraged to designate an area of the ground as a family enclosure with alcohol restrictions, the ban on the importation of alcohol, except where there is an ICC exemption, greater security concerning pitch access and specially trained stewards to cater for the growing crowds at our domestic matches.
“There will also be a zero tolerance policy concerning foul language and anyone using racist language shall be subject to prosecution. We are trying to ensure that all those who do wish to drink at matches also consider the spectators around them.

“ECB want to ensure that the type of behaviour which caused some unfortunate headlines last summer is not allowed to resurface in cricket during the summer of 2008 and spoil the enjoyment of the majority. We were adamant that we had to be proactive in this area to nip these issues in the bud.”