At Guwahati, April 9, 2006. Abandoned.
Crowd trouble which left two policemen in hospital marred a day on which no play was possible
because of unseasonally heavy rain the preceding week. The problem was exacerbated by a
chronically inadequate public-address system: had the spectators realised the outfield was too wet
for play, even though no rain fell on the day, they might not have reacted with such ferocity when
it was officially abandoned at 1.10 p.m. Bonfires were lit in the stands, metal fences ripped from
their hinges, and plastic bottles and rubble thrown on to the outfield. The police responded with
teargas, threw back some of the stones and bricks, and badly beat two spectators after dragging
them from the crowd. P. K. Deb, the vice-president of the Assam Cricket Association, blamed the
umpires for not allowing play to start, but the decision was made in consultation with the captains,
Sehwag and Strauss (deputising for Dravid and Flintoff, who were rested). In truth, the ACA
needed to get its own house in order.
© John Wisden & Co.