India v South Africa, 2nd T20I, Cuttack October 5, 2015

Crowd trouble takes centre stage in Cuttack

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'Not nice for cricket' - Du Plessis

Crowd trouble forced two interruptions in play during the second T20I at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack as India slid to a six-wicket defeat against South Africa. Play was held up for more than 50 minutes during South Africa's chase after spectators, largely from one section of the stadium, began throwing plastic bottles onto the field.

The first bottle-throwing incident came in the break between innings - India were bowled out for 92, their lowest T20I total at home - and did not interrupt play. The second came after 11 overs of South Africa's chase and stopped play for 27 minutes. The players remained in the middle through the delay and play resumed at 10pm, with security personnel lining the boundaries. However, a third wave of bottle-throwing two overs later forced them off. Play resumed after a 24-minute hold-up once the police had cleared the section of the crowd causing the disruption.

South Africa required another 4.1 overs, which passed without further incident, to complete the chase and seal the series 2-0.

The incident is the first case for the BCCI's new president, Shashank Manohar, to handle and there would be several points of concern for the board in how the situation was dealt with on the spot in Cuttack.

The matter did not come up at the post-match presentation ceremony, though both captains were interviewed by the broadcasters and could have been asked for their thoughts on it.

The issue was raised at the subsequent press conference, however, and prompted this response from India's captain MS Dhoni: "Frankly, from a safety point of view, I don't think there was a very serious threat. A few of the powerful people from the crowd were good enough to throw the bottles inside the rope. So the umpires thought it was better that players go off the field for a while. The reaction of the crowd, you know, we didn't play well, so at times you get reactions like this. It's only the first bottle. After that they start throwing for fun. We shouldn't read too much into it. I still remember we played in Vishakhapatnam once, we won the game very easily, and that time also a lot of bottles were thrown. It starts with the first bottle, and after that, you know, it is more fun for the spectators if they start doing it and following it."

The incident also raises questions about safety precautions at grounds in India, especially for high-profile matches like today's. The standard procedure is for spectators who buy drinks at the ground to be given their liquid refreshments - whether water or soft drinks - in plastic cups, which cannot be used as missiles. How the spectators could carry bottles to their seats on Monday will be a matter for investigation.

Also apparent was the lax security; when the match resumed after the break most of the policemen on the boundary could be seen watching the match rather than facing the crowd, as is standard procedure.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Casey on October 9, 2015, 0:58 GMT

    Absolutely disgusting mate. Feel bad for the Saffa's who actually had to put up with this disgraceful behavior. The match should have been called off and Indian board asked to explain why this occurred. Because if it happened in Australia or South Africa, people would have made lot of noise in the media. Lastly, this is not an isolated incident in India. It has been happening quite regularly during the 2000's as well.

  •   Mna MA on October 8, 2015, 20:48 GMT

    So, What Duplesi said about crowd? also mention.

  •   Mna MA on October 8, 2015, 20:42 GMT

    You have written a paragraph what Doni said, write some what Du Plesis said in press conference. If same thing happen to indian team in any other country, surely they have postpon theri tour. Ugly crowd and ugly behaviour

  • vishwa on October 8, 2015, 3:50 GMT

    Dhoni is a king. he accepts himself in the post match presentation when we didn't play well reaction would like this. but Gavaskar, I read articles one of the cricket website he said further game should be banned in Cuttack that sense is really bad sense and that will hurt every cricket fans see without fans cricket would be nothing understand that strongly.

  • Yousuf on October 8, 2015, 1:48 GMT

    Unfortunately ,Its not only in Cuttak, It has happened in Kolkata. The Pitch was destroyed in Mumbai. The visiting team fans had to leave stadium in police custody to save their lives. Indian fans must upgrade their sporting level

  •   Nikko Chunn on October 7, 2015, 19:57 GMT

    Pretty disgraceful.... And an example of why India might have been happy to tour Bangladesh, but Oz were unwilling. Differing standards of what is acceptable. Albeit OZ are appalling ON the field. Also the threat from Islamic State within Bangladesh was to attack those who were fighting I.S.... which includes Australians, but not Indians or South Africans ETC... Hope cleared that one up once and for all. On this specific bottle-throwing incident, I am not sure the Indians are badly behaved too often as fans, but they are delusional and extremely poor losers - the latter two traits causing their collective meltdown to occur in this second and deciding T20i. In fact, because it was just a meaningless hit and giggle T20 match and no cricket purist cares, India can probably count themselves lucky. Imagine if this was a test match? I think the kind of expectant arrogance the Indians have and their petulance when they don't get their way (i.e. lose) trickles down from the BCCI's bullying.

  • Altaf on October 7, 2015, 16:54 GMT

    @PAVINASEN Looks like you had over-pag overnight. No gibberish please.

  • Altaf on October 7, 2015, 16:53 GMT

    If incident took place once in the match, it was understandable, but 3 times in the match! No way to defend the crowd. They wanted to cancel the match after seeing India bowled out for 92,and that's why Dhoni defending them.

  • Basant on October 7, 2015, 9:10 GMT

    Even though India has got one of the best bench strengths, we are forced to put up with older players who are reluctant to call it a day. The current captain may have been good, but with average wicket keeping skills and declining batting form its time to look beyond. Of late, even his ideas have not worked for him. I am sure there are many youngsters who are very eager to prove their worth and play for the country rather than otherwise. Its high time, the selectors look towards the future and infuse some young blood into the team. We can probably start thinking of the next world cup.

  • Logan on October 7, 2015, 8:23 GMT

    My only concern is that being a South African I ask why the players did not reserve this performance for the finals (if they get there).Sa had nothing to lose by playing freely. The first game could have been anyone's, that my concern. The top 3 batsmen are consistent failures in the past 6 months( HA,AB,FAF),JP hot & cold, VB showing some signs of consistency , DM struggling for form .My point is that we must not become complacent and believe that this is the best SA combination against India. This is how India play, they play warm-ups. And then come onto their own, that's why they are ranked high in limited over cricket. Their management might take this as a positive to give it ample time to prepare for the T20 WC.

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