A crossbow bolt fired at the pitch during a county cricket match created panic as many spectators broke with protocol and started to pay attention to the event.
Simon Williams, of the England Cricket Board, said that the risk to players’ lives was bad enough but, more importantly, the attack endangered the very essence of a cherished British institution.
He explained, “Cricket is not some horrible form of entertainment from the colonies like baseball. It’s an integral part of British life. It’s supposed to be dull.
“It’s background noise for a long boozy picnic or for pensioners to nap the day away. It was the engine of Empire. Chaps would go to a test match and could talk about India without being interrupted by anything exciting.
“That’s why the rules were formalised two centuries ago so that matches last two weeks, you need divine intervention to remove a batsman, the rules are beyond byzantine and the scores sound like a pulse rate.
“How are fans supposed to enjoy dozing off or quietly fondling their secretary under a blanket if everybody is straining to see if someone will get skewered by an arrow?”
The ECB is working with the police to ensure the culprit is caught and is reviewing hours of tedious footage where people called Jonty lazily block a ball before jogging 20 paces and back.
Historically, the last cricket match deemed interesting was an 1876 test match where W G Grace attacked two Gloucestershire fielders for “mincing like Frenchmen”.