Monday, 1 February 2010

The crowd's take on the match

Well from Eden gardens to Lahore in 1997, there have been much disturbances to the sporting action on the field, most of which has resulted in abandoning the matches. No one can forget the way the semi finals of the Wills world cup 1996 was washed out due to fan fury in the game between India and Sri Lanka when the scoreboard for India read 120/8 during their unsuccessful run chase of 252 imposed by Sri Lanka. However, hardly anyone would have noticed the way India lost the third ODI to Pakistan in Lahore which saw Ijaz Ahmed blasting a 84 ball unbeaten 139 to take Pakistan through in just 26.2 overs.

It was neither India's weak bowling nor the strength in the Pakistani batting line up that saw such a splendid performance from the Pakistani batsmen. But, it was the stone throwing incident in the 2nd ODI at Karachi that made India surrender the 3rd ODI to Pakistan. Then there have been many such incidents like the first three ODIs between India and West Indies, which took place irrespective of whether India won or lost. The third ODI between India & West Indies had to be called off after 27 overs owing to a stone throwing incident despite India being in a dominating position and were ultimately declared winners.

The other incidents that need not be highlighted specially is the one in the 1996 world cup where Australia and West Indies cancel their group matches against Sri Lanka scheduled at Colombo after news papers reports of LTTE strikes in the city, that was favored to Sri Lanka finally. Then comes the way England and New Zealand call off the matches against Zimbabwe and Kenya anticipating some trouble from the crowd especially England in 2003 world cup. The ugliest of them all being the one in the 2nd finals of the Commonwealth Bank series 2008 where a streaker was hit by Symonds after smuggling himself onto the field at Brisbane.

There was a similar incident even in the previous game as well that was let off lightly. The latest one that we hear is the one recently in the fifth and the final one day match of the first part of the Commonwealth bank series between Australia and Pakistan, where a spectator comes in from behind and hugs on to Khalid Latif in the deep. The case was hardly any different when a fan was found throwing a water bottle at a Pakistani fielder in Bangalore in 1999 after India's chances of winning was ruled out by the Wasim Akram led side. This has to be something that the ICC should keep an eye upon at least in Australia, where such incidents are fresh unlike the ones in the sub-continent.

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