Middlesex players caught up in crossbow bolt drama

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Middlesex’s County Championship game with Surrey was abandoned late on the final day after a potentially lethal crossbow bolt landed close to players.

Armed police were called and The Oval evacuated as a full search of the ground was carried out.

Police believe the 12-inch long metal-tipped bolt travelled around 800 metres before coming to ground about 10 yards from the pitch.

The match was abandoned at 5.05pm, by which time the 1,000 crowd had been told they could leave.

A Met Police statement said the incident was not being treated as terrorism-related, and that no-one was injured.

Although no arrests have been made, enquiries continue.

Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said: “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. It had a pointed end and stuck in the turf when it crossed the outfield and landed, although we are not ballistics experts.”

Police were concentrating their search on where the bolt could have been launched around an area to the north-east of the Oval, close to the gas-holders.

The incident happened at 4.20pm when umpires Michael Gough and Paul Baldwin were alerted by the players who were immediately taken off the field.

Middlesex were 214-7 in their second innings, holding a lead of 181 runs, when the incident occurred.

Sam Curran had earlier taken three wickets in 10 balls as the visitors slumped to 94-6, a lead of just 61, shortly after lunch.

But John Simpson (88 not out) added 64 in 16 overs with Ollie Rayner (30) and 56 with Nick Compton (28 not out).