Cricket ground evacuated as crossbow fired

The match at The Oval in south London was nearing its end when the projectile, which looked to be around 18 inches long, landed on the square close to Surrey fielder Ollie Pope.

Surrey cricketer Stuart Meaker said: "We have just officially gone off the field because a metal-tipped arrow just landed on the pitch!"

"There have been no arrests", a Met Police spokesperson said.

Nobody was hurt, but the game at the Oval ground between Surrey and Middlesex was abandoned as police evacuated the stadium.

"I did archery as a kid and that was not a normal archery arrow". There were no questions asked - we went off very quickly. It is a deadly weapon for sure, if it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage.

"Living and working in central London, the threat is always with us".

Evacuated A steward collects the arrow from a stand in the Oval
Evacuated A steward collects the arrow from a stand in the Oval

"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".

While the official comment was that a "projectile was sacked into the ground from outside", pictures soon began to emerge of the object on social media.

Police said they were keeping an "open mind" as to motive.

Middlesex described the projectile as a "crossbow bolt".

A tweet from Middlesex's official account confirmed play had been suspended "on advice of security" and featured a picture of the object being held by an umpire.

It was later abandoned with the game ending in a draw. John Simpson was 88 not out and former England batsman Nick Compton unbeaten on 28.

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  • Tabitha Byrd