It could have killed someone - Surrey chief concerned after 'crossbow bolt' lands on field
Surrey chief executive Richard Gould was relieved no one was killed when an apparent crossbow bolt landed on the square at The Oval during their County Championship match with Middlesex on Thursday.
Initial reports suggested a metal-tipped arrow had been fired from outside the ground and landed on the playing surface during the fixture.
Middlesex tweeted a photo of the umpire holding the object when announcing play had been suspended "on advice of security". The Metropolitan Police confirmed a controlled evacuation of the stadium took place and the incident was not being treated as terrorism-related.
Play suspended at the Oval on advice of security. Players have left the field after a crossbow bolt landed on the square..... pic.twitter.com/V5fJADvuKK-- Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) August 31, 2017
Gould was unaware of how the item made its way onto the pitch but was thankful no one was seriously injured.
"It had a pointed end and stuck in the turf when it crossed the outfield and landed," said Gould.
"We are investigating reports that there was a noise on the roof of the OCS Stand but we haven't been able to get up there to investigate whether it was the projectile ricocheting off the roof or a separate projectile.
"It is the sort of thing that could easily have been fired some distance from outside the ground if it came from a crossbow. It could very easily have killed someone.
"We may never find out if it was a deliberate act, but in these heightened times these sorts of acts are wholly irresponsible.
"People should not feel threatened in this way. If it is more than mischief-making then we need to find the perpetrators. We will review our security arrangements but threats can be so wide-ranging.
"There is probably no way of securing against this type of incident if it was fired from outside. We always try and provide the safest type of environment but it can be very difficult to stop this kind of act."
Surrey captain Gareth Batty echoed those sentiments and questioned whether the perpetrator understood the potential consequences of their actions.
He said: "It was a pretty tasty arrow with a proper metal end. I did archery as a kid and that was not a normal archery arrow. The umpires dealt with it very well. There were no questions asked - we went off very quickly.
"Someone saw it in flight, there was a noise when it landed but it happened so quick. It is a deadly weapon for sure. If it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage. It just shows the world we live in.
"You have to be diligent, it would be stupid not to be but if you're constantly worrying about what is going to happen that is not a great place to be. If it is a crossbow rather than a longbow it is probably someone messing around and not understanding the implications of firing something into the air.
"Let's hope it's a couple of people who will feel pretty ashamed in the morning when they realise what happened."