ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Bangladesh bus was also hit, says Ian Pont

Sidharth Monga in Mirpur

March 4, 2011

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

The Mirpur crowd threw their '4' and '6' placards at the Bangladesh team after they had been bowled out for 58, Bangladesh v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, March 4, 2011
Bangladesh's fans did not take their side's loss to West Indies well © Getty Images

Ian Pont, Bangladesh's bowling coach, has told ESPNcricinfo that, in addition to West Indies' bus, the Bangladesh team bus was also hit on its way back from the Shere Bangla Stadium, after the home team suffered a huge defeat to West Indies in a game that lasted all of 31.1 overs. Pont said there was no way the West Indian players were specifically targeted.

"I think there was something that hit our bus," Pont said, but also confirmed there hasn't been any injury. "Nothing like that [injury or panic]. Just that when we got off the bus, we saw the windows had been thrashed. People were throwing things at the bus as we were speeding along. We were going along very quickly, so these things kind of bounced off rather than hit the bus with full force. They ricocheted off, and bounced off to the side."

The BCB president, Mustafa Kamal, had earlier said that both the buses left the ground together, led by a dummy bus. In that scenario it is quite possible that the throwers of stones didn't quite know who was in which bus. Pont agreed with the theory. "The incident we had is probably a minor one, but the point is there shouldn't be any. We are a host country, and I am thinking it's our disgruntled fans. I am absolutely sure that they wouldn't have deliberately targeted the West Indies' vehicle. They were just throwing stuff at buses. All the buses look the same, and we have got blue curtains up. I am not even sure they could even see, so they were just throwing anything."

Fan site condemns incident

  • A popular fan site, BanglaCricket, has started a campaign to condemn the attackers of the team buses and to apologise to the cricketers. It is led by this message from the site administrators: "Please send flowers to the West Indies Cricket team staying at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. No need to make any statement. The flowers will be message enough. Please Copy/Paste this as your status update, call as many people you know in Dhaka, and ask them to do the same. Let's do this!"

Pont strongly condemned the incident. "You cannot throw bricks and stones at cricketers. I understand fans get emotional. You have to control your emotions, you can't let it spill over into violence. This is effectively violence. And I think the West Indies were a bit more shaken up."

He empathised with Chris Gayle's strong reaction on Twitter. "Chris Gayle commented on that, didn't he? What's next? Bullets or something? [is what Gayle tweeted]. I think it comes to people's minds. We are very aware that there is a lot of security around the team, we are very aware there is a lot of security around the World Cup itself. Up until now, everything seems to have gone okay. Security seems to be pretty good, and there have been no incidents. This is the first one as far as I know. It is disappointing - it's probably a few stupid fans showing their emotion, but you can't be throwing bricks and stones at international cricketers. At the end of the day it is just a game of cricket. It's all it is."

Pont spoke of how the worst comes to your mind when you are stuck in such an incident. "The bottom line is it doesn't reflect very well. This is the issue really. Incidents happen all the time. People blow off firecrackers or they get upset, or they call players names. I understand supporters get disappointed and angry, but it can't spill over into violence or lawlessness. While these are isolated incidents, we don't want a repeat of anything that happened to the Sri Lankan cricketers [in 2009]. I know that's on people's minds sometimes when things happen, when a bus gets attacked. You don't know who is attacking you, you don't know what they are attacking you with. When someone's throwing things at a bus, and it is making a loud noise, you don't quite know what's going on."

The Daily Star also reported that a few fans on motorbikes threw stones at Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan's Magura home, leaving a window-pane broken. "I went to the mosque to offer prayers and heard that some unidentified people did it," Shakib's father Mashrur Reza, said. The police stated that the incident was an isolated one, and that security had been deployed.

The Bangladesh fans, Pont said, are usually better behaved. "I think we have crowds here that show their dissatisfaction vocally. They shout out and abuse the players if they are not happy. People pay their 400 taka and they come and have a shout, I understand that. [But] To resort to violence is never acceptable."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 48 
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Posted by mohammed on (March 7, 2011, 0:33 GMT)

The public were thought that's BD players bus, please believe it. We are extremly sorry WI. We loved all cricket players.

Posted by Richard on (March 6, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

Well, it's all very nice to apologise and promise that "it will never happen again" but this is a promise that no one individual can make with certainty, and so it's a shallow one. Cricket is a game and should not be tied in with nationalism which is unfortunately precisely what is done on the subcontinent. Amazing as it may seem, in Australia we understand this and whilst we are disappointed when our team loses we understand that it's just a game and our country is no lesser for it. Cricket is a diversion, a beautiful game for sure, but not the sort of thing that makes or breaks a country. Lighten up a bit guys! It's not a life or death thing-or at least it shouldn't be. Imagine how much worse this could have been had members of either team been injured. It's too late after a player has had their skull fractured to say, "sorry, we didn't really mean it." As long as the performance of a team is tied in with ultra nationalism this will remain a possibility. Sorry but that's the truth.

Posted by amit on (March 6, 2011, 19:18 GMT)

Bangla Fans have done enough apologies . It is also the duty of ICC & BD crick board to ensure safety & security while organizing such tournaments ,as it's difficult to check emotion of fans . Well it's time to move on with some pledges required taken by concerned authority .

Posted by Subhasish on (March 6, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

I have not seen one report or a passionate Bangladeshi fan talking about what they are doing about finding the miscreants and finding a way to make them an example of what happens when you behave inappropriately. This incident did not happen in vacuum and so why are these people not being pulled up? Many of you have even seen this happen in front of your eyes and you still are scared to point these cowards out. What good is it to send out flowers when you are doing nothing to stop this from happening again? If these guys (who you are protecting) do it again, will you send twice the flowers because it is the second time? Do the right thing people, do not sugar coat the incident with flowers. Show some courage; show that you are really sorry by finding each of these hooligans and making sure that they are properly punished and never allowed to come within miles of any cricket stadiums.

Posted by JIGNESH on (March 6, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

Ian Pont is a lawyer and defend minister more than the coach of Bangladesh's bowling. I mean look at the situation West Indies team's bus already got attacked all players knew that and now he is stupid enough trying to sell that West Indies Cricket team wasn't the target. Mr. Pont, whatever you are selling, we are not buying. Mr. Pont, just do your job what you are hired for. Stop defending the culprit people and give coaching the Bangladesh team.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 6, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

To all those people laughing at this country, to all those people who are doubting us hear this- today, March 5th-- 1400 people gathered in front of the WestIndies team hotel at 6 am in the morning , all ready with flowers and placards saying sorry. And they apologised to the westindies team. Yes, we make mistakes, but we also create moments like these. Bangladesh♥

Posted by kazi on (March 5, 2011, 20:10 GMT)

Sad day for Bangladesh Cricket... not the loss... but the WI incident... I hope the people who threw stones at the cricketer understand that you have just put our cricket 20 years behind again...

Hope the WI and BANG cricket is doing well....

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 18:42 GMT)

I'm extremely sorry for Bangladesh

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 17:03 GMT)

Being a sub continent nation, people here are more emotional, BUT bangladesh should have to notice that they have lost to West Indies, not any associate team... In cricket any thing can happen, like Ireland win. As a host they should have to give the better image of the country, but let us see how indian response IF india get out early :) Secondly, Do Think Before You Do,saying sorry does not means that every thing is ok now, Windies always remember these incident...

Posted by Rezwan on (March 5, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

The whole Bangladesh nation is sorry for what happened... We all apologize to the WI team for the mistakes committed by some fans.....

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