New Zealand v Australia, 1st ODI, Wellington February 19, 2005

Ponting calls for increased security after crowd trouble

Cricinfo staff



Stewards tackle a streaker during the match at Wellington © Getty Images

Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain, has called for an urgent review of security measures at grounds in New Zealand after some of his players were hit by missiles thrown from the crowd during the first one-day international of the current series at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, which Australia won by 10 runs.

Play was held up a number of times after some of the Australian fielders - among them Glenn McGrath and Simon Katich - told the umpires they had been hit by plastic bottles.

"Someone's going to get hurt," said Ponting at the after-match press conference. "A full plastic bottle hitting someone in the eye or the back of the head - we don't want that. You have to have more security guys around the players on the boundary. They've got to have some sort of power - get the police involved, whatever."

Katich got into a tense exchange with a section of the crowd at the Westpac Stadium after catching Brendon McCullum on the boundary. Holding the ball aloft in the direction of the crowd, Katich let out some verbals at those who had thrown full plastic beer bottles in his direction. That incident followed a verbal altercation between McGrath and a security guard after McGrath misjudged a catch on the third-man fence. That eventually led the guard being removed.

McGrath, who was named the Man of the Match for his fine spell, admitted that he had over-reacted. "I had, an altercation might be the right word, with a security guard on the fence," McGrath said. "But I was a bit fired up at the time, so I probably should accept 50% of what happened there myself."

Five years ago Steve Waugh, when he was Australia's captain, threatened to take his players off the field after similar crowd disturbances in New Zealand.