Umpire David Shepherd was at the centre of controversy last night after a missile appeared to strike him on the head at The Riverside, writes Steven Baker.

Several witnesses claimed a small object hit Shepherd, 61, above the left temple and that he walked from the field holding his head during a break in play as rain fell during the NatWest Series clash between England and India.

Police moved in to try to find the culprit but they were unable to remove anyone from the crowd near the pavilion steps.

Shepherd later insisted he had been inadvertently struck by someone turning round and accidentally catching him.