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Climate activists disrupt second Ashes Test

LONDON (AFP) – England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow wrestled a protester to the ground as climate activists briefly interrupted play on the first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s yesterday.

Just before Stuart Broad bowled the second over, two protesters from Just Stop Oil ran out of the Grandstand and onto the outfield, sprinkling the group’s trademark orange powder on the square but not on the pitch.

Bairstow grabbed one of the demonstrators and carried them off the playing surface, with the other apprehended by stewards.

A third demonstrator was tackled before making it onto the outfield.

Spectators booed the protesters as they were led away by stewards.

Metropolitan Police later said they arrested three people.

Security grab a Just Stop Oil protester during day one of the second Ashes Test cricket match at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, England. PHOTO: AP

Following a delay of several minutes while the orange powder was removed by ground-staff, play resumed with Broad bowling from the Nursery End.

Just Stop Oil, which wants an end to new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, has disrupted a series of sporting events, including the British Formula One Grand Prix and Premiership rugby union final.

Protesters have tied themselves to goalposts during Premier League football matches and thrown orange powder on the green baize at the World Snooker Championship.

Just Stop Oil also delayed the England team bus taking the side to Lord’s for the lone Test against Ireland earlier this month.

United Kingdom police forces were controversially granted new anti-protest powers by the government earlier this year following years of disruptive demonstrations by environmental activists.

“These sorts of selfish, guerrilla tactics that target events bringing joy to millions are exactly why the government brought in new powers so the police can take swift action,” a spokesman for the UK prime minister said.

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