A HAMPSHIRE cricket match had to be abandoned when an umpire lost a tooth after allegedly being headbutted by one of the players.

Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident, which occurred during a local derby between two teams on the edge of the New Forest.

Hythe & Dibden 4th XI and Fawley 3rd XI were playing each other at Holbury when what have been described “simmering tensions” boiled over.

The Daily Echo has been told that one of the Fawley cricketers had an LBW appeal turned down by the umpire, who was allegedly assaulted shortly afterwards.

Police were called but officers say no-one was arrested in connection with the incident.

The Hampshire League Regional 1 South West fixture was being played on a pitch at the New Forest Academy in Long Lane when the assault took place last Saturday.

Last night members of the two clubs involved denied any knowledge of the incident or refused to comment, referring all enquiries to police.

Denis Emery, chairman of Hampshire Cricket League, said: “An incident occurred and an injury was sustained.

“We’ve received a brief report and I understand that an official complaint is in the process of being submitted but we haven’t heard from both sides.

“I know the names of the two people involved but I don’t know who did what. A cricket bat was thrown at an umpire in another part of Hampshire a couple of weeks ago and we’re looking at that. The level of abuse towards players and umpires has gone up, although I wouldn’t say the level of violence has.”

The Holbury match was abandoned and police were called.

A police spokesman said: “We’re investigating a report of an assault against a man in his 40s at the New Forest Academy. The report referred to a headbutt and the loss of a tooth.

“The full circumstances surrounding this incident are still under investigation. There have been no arrests at this stage.”

Holbury councillor Allan Glass added: “I’d heard there was a bit of a scuffle down there but I hadn’t realised the severity of it. You don’t expect that sort of thing to happen at a cricket match.”

Fawley Cricket Club uses a sports field at the Academy, formerly Hardley School and Sixth-Form. Last night an Academy spokesman said the incident took place outside of school hours and did not involve any of the staff or pupils.

Anyone with information can call Hampshire police on 101, quoting 44180254964.