West Indies v Australia, 1st ODI, St Vincent June 24, 2008

Unruly crowd upsets Ponting

Cricinfo staff

The mess caused by the spectators was cleaned up before Australia swept to an 84-run victory © AFP

Ricky Ponting has condemned the crowd behaviour in St Vincent that delayed the end of the opening one-day international by ten minutes. West Indies were nine down when Darren Sammy was correctly given out bowled, but the trouble began after Sammy waited near the boundary while the television umpire reviewed the decision.

There was no big screen at the stadium and when Sammy, who had 33, left the field the crowd threw bottles and rubbish on to the arena. The dismissal was initially unclear but the replays showed the ball had brushed off stump before bouncing off the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's pads.

During the crowd disturbance the Australians congregated on the pitch and were joined by James Hopes, who had been fielding on the boundary. "There's no room for that in the international game,'' Ricky Ponting told AAP of the incident. "Luckily today they did miss James, otherwise it could have been a bit nasty.''

The rubbish was cleared by the local workers and the match finished with Australia recording an 84-run victory. Julian Jack, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association president, said he was disappointed by the incident, but felt it was handled well.

"We had more than 135 police at the ground," he said. "When the trouble started, I thought they responded very quickly. This is the first time anything like this has happened in the 20 or so years that we have hosted international cricket.

"It would seem the umpires may have made some decisions that were not in favour of the crowd, and the crowd then incorrectly took things into their own hands. It is disappointing that this happened, but at least no one was hurt and the outcome of the game wasn't affected.''

John Dyson, West Indies' coach, told AFP: "I don't like to see bottle-throwing or anything thrown on the field at all. I like to see enthusiasm from the crowd and I like to see the crowd support both teams, but I don't like to see anything thrown onto the field anywhere in the world.

"I can't tell what the crowd could see from where they are. The reaction was 'wait, hang on'. At the instance of the decision being made, there was some doubt, and it was not instantaneous. There was consultation between the umpires, and it was just reaction what people saw. Once the umpire said Sammy was out, he left."