An air ambulance dramatically brought a County Championship match to a halt after landing on the field.
Gloucestershire’s County Championship game with Durham at the Bristol County Ground was only five balls old when the air ambulance came into land, disrupting play on the first day of the Division Two fixture for 20 minutes.
An announcement at the ground then confirmed a ‘critical incident locally’ had been declared and was the reason behind the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity helicopter landing there shortly after the four-day match had begun there at 10:30am.
South Western Ambulance Service then released a statement of their own, saying the air ambulance ‘supported our response to an emergency incident at a nearby residential address,’ and was able to do so ‘due to the prominence of the air ambulance’s landing location.’
A spokesperson for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity meanwhile said: ‘Our crew were called to an incident at a private address in Bishopston just before 11am this morning to reports of a patient who had fallen and sustained a head injury.
‘The team were on the way back to their air base after responding to another call-out in Bridgwater, with a Critical Care Doctor and two Specialist Paramedics on board, so landed at the nearby Bristol County Grounds in order to get to the patient quickly.
‘They assisted the patient on scene, who was then taken to hospital in a land ambulance for further care.
‘We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to all those at the cricket grounds and thank them for their cooperation in allowing our crew to land safely and respond to the patient in need.’
Durham bowler Chris Rushworth posted a video of the air ambulance landing as the players made their way from the field, with the caption: ‘This is a first!!!!! Helicopter stops play.’
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Gloucestershire then put up a video on Twitter showing the helicopter leaving the ground after they had tended to the incident in the local area.
In response, the Great Western charity replied: ‘Apologies for the interruption. And the slightly unorthodox fielding position. Good luck with the rest of play.