The crowd present at The Oval to watch the fourth day of the County Championship game between Surrey and Middlesex experienced an astonishing turn of events as a crossbow bolt fired into the ground forced the close of play on Thursday.
The incident occurred in the third session around 5pm when the crossbow bolt landed just yards away from the players and umpires.
Everyone headed off the field as security entered the pitch to inspect the scene, much to the surprise of many.
The Met Police were called in immediately and started patrolling the ground as the spectators were asked to evacuate the iconic venue.
Around 1,000 people were inside the south London ground when the bolt sailed over on to the field.
Officials believe the metal bolt was fired from outside the ground, although the intention of the culprit still remains unknown.
However, Met Police asserted that they are keeping an ‘open mind’ about the motive and is of the opinion the incident was not terror-related.
One witness, present at the world famous stadium for some corporate event, told The Sun: “I've seen it come over, it's landed and the next thing we knew, security turned around and started evacuating all of the rooftop from where we were.”
He added that the crowd did not know what actually transpired but slowly realised the situation as cops ordered them to take cover.
You can see how the players reacted to the bolt falling so close to them in the video below:
Another witness, Ben Kosky said: “Basically, there was the last session of the match going on, with Surrey against Middlesex, and all of a sudden, the players all sprinted for the dressing room.
“There was a lot of confusion.”
Colin Hunt, Surrey committee member, added: “I was sitting in the members’ pavilion, the lower side of it, and I looked across and I saw a bolt hitting the second wicket, the spare wicket, from the far end of the OCS stand.
“I don’t know if it was from the ground or the outside.”
Surrey's CEO Richard Gould admitted information regarding the incident is still sketchy.
“We don't know where it was fired from. It landed within ten metres of a player and was seen by the umpire," Gould said.
“We don't think it was fired from within the ground. We don't know if it was deliberate or an act of mischief. But when this happens you have to assume the worst.”
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