Shocking footage has been released of a charity cricket match turning vicious after thugs stormed the pitch and began bashing players with willow bats amid screams of terror.
It took just a few moments for Sunday’s match at Mote Park Cricket Club, part of a cricket tournament in aid of a Pakistani charity, to turn ugly, and even less time to turn violent.
In the clip, the players on the pitch can be seen clustering together as tensions rise. Some individuals dressed in dark, non-cricket clothing are seen confronting the players. One such individual quickly lunges to grab a bat while another careers onto the pitch swinging willow at stunned players.
Eventually, a brave cricketer rips the bat out of the thug’s hands and then uses it to defend himself. The camera then pans, showing one knocked down individual on all fours, men can then be seen rushing over while others hit one another. Some veiled women can be spotted immersed in the throng trying to calm the fighting to no avail.
The brawl grows ever more fierce as more bats are dangerously swung with clear intent to cause harm.
“We tried our best for charity and these lunatics just spoiled it,” Shehzad Akram, one of the tournament organisers, told KentOnline. “At the end of the day, we were having the final match and it was the last couple of overs when some guys came on the pitch and attacked a few of the players.
“I don’t know what the main reason was behind it, but there were some troublemakers in the ground. They started fighting with their bats and hitting people.
“I was far away from it, but by the time I got near, they were still fighting and swearing at each other,” added Akram. “We are not happy – we don’t tolerate this behaviour. No one’s life was lost but a couple of guys got injured in the fight.
“I told them then that what they’d done was a disgrace. There should be stiff action against the players involved.
“We won’t let these people come into the ground in the future – we know their faces and we can’t take that risk ever again.”
Kent Police confirmed they were called to the scene. However, “there have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries are continuing into the incident,” said a spokesperson.
The charity tournament was in aid of Share for Care, a charity providing medical treatment for Pakistan’s poor. Between 300 to 450 people were expected to attend. They probably didn’t count on a fight breaking out though.