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The England cricket team became the latest victim of Just Stop Oil climate protesters this morning after activists’ slow marching delayed the men’s bus as it travelled to Lord’s for the Test match against Ireland.
England’s Jonny Bairstow shared an Instagram picture of the orange-clad demonstrators being spoken to by police as they blocked a road close to Hyde Park in London.
The wicketkeeper-batsman captioned the snap: ‘If we’re a bit late, it’s not our fault.’
It comes as the environmental group are embarking on their sixth week of slow marching in protest against the provision of new licences for fossil fuels amid the climate crisis.
The government is currently attempting to introduce new legislation which would enable police officers to deal instantly with disruptive protests, although this is not due to be voted on in Parliament until at least mid-June.
England cricketer Jonny Bairstow posted a picture of Just Stop Oil protesters holding up the team bus en route to Lord’s for the pre-Ashes Test match against Ireland
Protesters were seen walking in front of the England cricket bus holding signs reading ‘Live over oil’
Police officers engage with protesters holding up traffic in London on Thursday
Just Stop Oil later posted a video showing four protesters walking slowly along the road holding placards that read ‘Life over Oil’ and ‘We won’t die quietly’.
A statement on Twitter read: ‘BREAKING: Just Stop Oil supporters march in Kensington and Battersea. And apparently that’s the @englandcricket team bus.
‘They might know a bit about a batting collapse, but the climate crisis is no one-day international – it’s our biggest test.
‘But our government are pushing us over the boundary. No-one is safe from climate collapse, it will destroy everything we value and love, leaving just ashes.
‘Oil and gas has had a good innings but it’s time to declare.’
Seven police officers are then seen in the video approaching the protesters.
Separately, members of Just Stop Oil arrived in Kensington at shortly after 8am on Thursday, according to the Metropolitan Police.
A statement on social media read: ‘Police were made aware of Just Stop Oil #protesters #slowmarching in the road at Wellington Arch, Kensington, at 8.07hrs, Thursday, 1 June.
‘Officers were on the scene at 8.09hrs, assessing the situation and engaging with the #protesters.’
One elderly protester held a sign reading ‘We won’t die quietly’ as she held up the England cricket team on their way to Lord’s
Police officers arrive on the scene as four protesters hold up traffic, including the England cricket team’s bus (pictured)
Young people demonstrate on the Albert Bridge on Thursday morning, holding signs reading ‘It’s our future’ and ‘Youth are rising’
A small group of environmentalists block traffic on busy roads in central London on Thursday
There was a visible, heavy police presence at the scene of protests elsewhere in London on Thursday
At least a dozen police officers arrive at the scene of Just Stop Oil protests on Thursday morning
Protesters later also began slow marching on Bayswater Road, Albert Bridge, Chelsea Bridge and outside the Royal Albert Hall.
The disruption on Albert Bridge was led by young people who held signs with slogans such as ‘It’s our future’ and ‘Youth in resistance’.
According to police, all protesters moved out of the road when instructed to do so by officers. Photographs from the scene show officers talking with protesters.
England are set to play Ireland in a one-off Test match starting on Thursday, which will serve as an important tune-up for the forthcoming Ashes series with Australia.
The team bus was delayed by around five minutes before making it to Lord’s. They arrived at 9.15am, with play set to begin at 11am.
The environmental protest group have disrupted a number of prominent sporting events as part of a wave of stunts in recent months as well as a disrupting traffic with ‘go-slow’ marches in major cities.
The Gallagher Premiership rugby final between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Twickenham was interrupted last Saturday when protestors ran onto the field and threw orange powder.
England and Ireland meet in a Test match at Lord’s which will serve as an Ashes tune-up
Jonny Bairstow (left) jokes with coach Brendon McCullum and Joe Root (right) during England’s net session ahead of the Ireland Test
It followed a similar powder stunt at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in April, which halted play.
A man climbed onto one of the tables and covered it in orange powder while another protestor tried to glue herself to the second table.
Samuel Johnson, 40, of Reydon in Suffolk, and Patrick Hart, 37, of Brislington, Bristol appeared in court on Monday charged with criminal damage and aggravated trespass after the rugby final stunt.
The court heard how the pair threw orange cornflour on to the grass before being intercepted by stewards and led off the pitch. The powder remained visible for the remainder of the game.
Magistrate Helen Jones sent the matter to be tried at a Crown Court, with the pair due to appear at Kingston Crown Court on June 26.
Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership rugby final was disrupted by orange-powder throwing protestors from Just Stop Oil
A Just Stop Oil protestor also disrupted the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible
Orange powder was thrown and play halted during the stunt in Sheffield back in April
There were gasps from the Crucible crowd when the first round match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry was interrupted by the protestors on April 17.
While one protestor jumped onto the table and covered it in orange powder, another tried to glue herself to the adjacent table where Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi were in action, but was stopped by referee Olivier Marteel.
Last season, a protestor caused a delay to Everton’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United at Goodison Park when he attached his neck to a goalpost with a cable tie.
Mail Sport revealed earlier this week that ‘sprinter stewards’ will be deployed at this Saturday’s Wembley FA Cup final between Manchester United and Manchester City to prevent protesters getting onto the pitch.
The possibility that Just Stop Oil will target the high-profile event has formed a major part of the security planning.
Equipment to release protestors is likely to be on-site while the sprinter stewards, the use of whom was revealed by Mail Sport ahead of the closing day of the last Premier League season, are also likely to be present.
Such workers are specially trained in dealing with invaders and wear football boots or footwear with the most adequate grip to allow them for speed.
Also described as ‘pitch runners’, they are tasked with keeping an eye out for any members of the public attempting to breach security lines and make their way onto the field of play.
Officials have a number of other measures they can take to prevent and deal with any disruption.
Louis McKechnie, 21, stormed the pitch and zip-tied himself to the goalpost at Goodison Park during the game between Everton and Newcastle United last year
Stadium staff prised him free with a huge pair of bolt cutters and hauled him off the pitch where he was arrested by police
A statement released by Just Stop Oil following the Twickenham protest said they would ‘continue to take disruptive action until this government stops new fossil fuels’.
Security is also being stepped up at the home of cricket in an effort to stop eco militants targeting a summer of Test matches.
England open their summer fixtures against Ireland before Australia arrive next month for the Ashes.
In the wake of a series of stunts targeting high-profile events, Marylebone Cricket Club, the proprietor of Lord’s in north London, said it is taking measures to minimise the threat from Just Stop Oil.
A spokesman said the ‘safety and security’ of players and spectators was the ‘highest priority’.
‘While protests would disrupt the game, we have a number of security measures in place, some visible, some less so, to deter this. In some areas we have enhanced existing provisions,’ the spokesman said.