Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval, 1st day August 3, 2010

Fans taunt Yuvraj with 'water boy' chants

Taunting from visibly drunk fans at the T Murugaser Stand, which is situated just outside the Oval Taverners bar and right next to the players' passage, got out of hand at the P Sara Oval, and the victim was Yuvraj Singh, India's 12th man. Yuvraj was seen pointing out the disruptive members to authorities, and police had to intervene.

At the end of the day's play, when Yuvraj was coming back from his cooling-down exercise, the fans chanted: "We want water boy. Boy boy, water boy." They also praised Suresh Raina for having taken Yuvraj's place in the side. It all started when Yuvraj was carrying drinks for the team, and the fans, in what is the members' stand at the ground, started heckling him with "water boy, water boy why ain't you playing" chants. According to an eyewitness, a provocative gesture was shown to the player.

"The crowd was trying to misbehave with the player," Ranjib Biswal, India's manager, said. "The police was asked to intervene and the situation was brought under control. Yuvi was not at fault, he didn't try to provoke the crowd at all. I was sitting next to Yuvi when it happened and I can tell you they were trying to provoke the player.

"Naturally, it's a basic human tendency to react to situations when you are being repeatedly provoked but Yuvi was quite restrained," Biswal said. "The police have taken the spectators out and we will definitely lodge a complaint."

Tony Perera, CEO of the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletics Club, which owns the P Sara Oval, said: "Tomorrow we are making a few adjustments but the fans will definitely come and see the teams play. We will take corrective and preventive measures tomorrow.

"Taverners was built to add lustre to the club and not for fans to intoxicate and behave in a way that is detrimental to cricket. It's very much a part of the place. Just a few people doesn't mean the whole club should be held responsible. I am still looking into the details of who those people were. But necessary action will be taken tomorrow."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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