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Bat-wielding thugs storm charity cricket match at Mote Park Cricket Club in Maidstone

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A charity cricket match was abandoned after a fight that saw players striking each other with bats broke out between two teams.

The violence erupted at the end of a game at Mote Park Cricket Club in Maidstone yesterday at a tournament raising money for Share for Care, which helps those in need of medical treatment in Pakistan and the Heart of Kent Hospice.

Thugs could be seen swinging their bats at rival players
Thugs could be seen swinging their bats at rival players

Shocking footage of the incident shows a group of players – believed to be from Gravesend and Medway – engaged in an animated discussion close to the edge of the pitch, before a topless thug sprints towards them swinging willow.

Two more hooligans – one still wearing his pads – are then seen exchanging blows, as the screams of onlookers ring out across the ground.

Another person is struck to the floor, as more bat-wielding louts start clubbing their rivals.

Shehzad Akram, who helped with the running of the event, told KentOnline: "We tried our best for charity and these lunatics just spoiled it.

"At the end of the day, we were having the final match and it was the last couple of overs when some guys came on the pitch and attacked a few of the players.

A fight broke out at the end of a six-team charity cricket tournament at Mote Park Cricket Club in Maidstone
A fight broke out at the end of a six-team charity cricket tournament at Mote Park Cricket Club in Maidstone

"I don't know what the main reason was behind it, but there were some troublemakers in the ground. They started fighting with their bats and hitting people.

"I was far away from it, but by the time I got near, they were still fighting and swearing at each other."

Police and paramedics attended the ground where four patients were reported at the scene. One was taken to hospital by ambulance.

"We are not happy – we don't tolerate this behaviour," Mr Akram added.

"No one's life was lost but a couple of guys got injured in the fight.

"I told them then that what they'd done was a disgrace. There should be stiff action against the players involved.

"We won't let these people come into the ground in the future – we know their faces and we can't take that risk ever again."

The T10 cricket tournament had consisted of unaffiliated sides, made up of friends who regularly compete for different teams in the Kent cricket league.

It is understood players from Gravesend Cricket Club – including some of its junior members – were hurt in the conflict with a side from Gillingham.

The club's joint-chairman Tim Hance, who was not present, described the scenes as "shocking" and says players from his club were targeted unprovoked.

"There is outrage as to how this could this could have happened."

"It has shocked the whole club and people outside the club from other teams," he said.

He wants to see the opposition punished and those responsible banned from participating in future games in the county.

Mr Hance added: "There is outrage as to how this could this could have happened.

"We are pushing everyone involved to ensure this is not brushed under the carpet."

On social media on Monday, The Mote Cricket Club said: "The Mote CC would like to distance ourselves from any events that took place at our club yesterday.

"We do not oversee and are not responsible for behaviour of any of those who commercially rent our ground.

"We do not condone these events, and are saddened and disappointed in the organisers and those involved with the incident."

Organisers had predicted that the tournament would draw between 350 and 400 people.

Dr Syed Arshad Husain, who helped organise the match, said tempers had flared in Sunday's sweltering conditions.

"These things can happen and the hot weather was a factor as well," he said. "I have asked the police to look into it."

The Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Fay Gooch, was set to appear at the venue alongside Deputy High Commissioner for Pakistan Dr Faisal Aziz Ahmed and former Kent cricketer Yasir Arafat.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "We were called at around 6.50pm on Sunday regarding a disturbance at a sportsground in Willow Way, Maidstone.

"Officers attended and spoke to those who were present at the scene.

"There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries are continuing into the incident."

Anybody with information can call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/127096/21.

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Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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