MCC blows top over champagne corks cricket 'hazard' at Lord's
Champagne cork-popping cricket spectators at Lord's have been warned they risk causing a "hazard" to players with their antics.
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) advised its members against attempting the time-honoured tradition of blasting the cork from bottle to outfield during play.
Ahead of this weekend's international between England and Pakistan, the club said concerns had been "formally raised" by visiting players about the practice.
The MCC, which owns Lord's, is the only international cricket ground which allows spectators to bring in their own alcohol.
It said in a newsletter: "In recent times the practice of some members and other spectators opening bottles of champagne in such a way as to allow corks to be projected on to the outfield has been criticised.
"Any items which are aimed at the playing area may cause a potential hazard to fieldsmen, and this point has been made formally to the club.
"Lord's is now the only ground into which members and ticket holders are allowed to bring alcohol, and in order for this arrangement to continue it is important that all members, their guests and other spectators refrain from the practice that has been described."
Spectators are known to cheer whenever corks reach the boundary of play, leaving stewards the task of having to collect the dozens left littered around the outfield.
Inside the ground, bottles of champagne are available for purchase for up to several hundreds of pounds.
On its website, the ground said Veuve Clicquot champagne has become "synonymous with a day out at Lord's".
It added that more than 3,000 bottles were sold during a 2015 test match between England and Australia.