New Zealand cricket board advice crowds to keep eye on ball

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Auckland, Feb 7(ANI): 'Keeping your eye on the ball' is about to become the catch-cry for not only the world's best cricketers, but also the thousands of people who come to watch them in action in New Zealand- particularly in the new Twenty20 format.

New Zealand Cricket executive Justin Vaughan has said that the near-misses in the crowd during the country's recent 20-over competition had persuaded him that a concerted safety awareness campaign was needed in order to educate people about the need to pay attention.

Vaughan said it was clear that cricket would need to adopt American protocols such as warning signs at grounds and public address announcements.

Although no serious injuries were reported during the season, many children and adults narrowly missed balls traveling at speeds of 160 to 180km/h.

"It was an issue that was raised by the board just before the Twenty20 final in New Plymouth. It's only going to get bigger so the safety reminders are something we'll need to introduce, probably ahead of next season," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Vaughan, as saying.

"A lot of people are now attending for the whole Twenty20 experience; they're not necessarily purists and there's a need to provide them with the information they need to remain safe," he added.

Vaughan said it was incumbent on New Zealand Cricket to make spectators more aware of the dangers posed by wayward cricket balls.

"As I understand it, cricket hires most of the ground venues from the relevant local authorities and, with that, we presumably also inherit the liability. So it's our responsibility," he said.

New Zealand will play two Twenty20 internationals against Australia later this month. (ANI)

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