Sudhir Gautam, the India fan who paints himself in the tri-colour and follows the team, has been given security cover for the third ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur because he felt "threatened" after an incident outside the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Sunday. When India lost the series that day, Gautam alleged that he was accosted by people and required the help of the police to get to his hotel safely. A BCB spokesperson, however, said there were no official complaints filed and stressed that any incident that happened was not intentional.
"The Mirpur Police said there had been eye-witnesses," the spokesperson said. "And considering the case has escalated, something might have happened. But it is not like someone was trying to make a statement. It was perhaps a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sudhir has been here many times and he knows a lot of people in the BCB. He is well-liked."
Nevertheless, Gautam gets protection to and from the ground on Wednesday, as he did when he attended India's training on Tuesday.
The Mirpur crowd has been especially on edge as a result of the recent events between the two teams. The no-ball incident at the World Cup quarter-final has not been forgotten and the collision between MS Dhoni and Mustafizur Rahman in the first ODI added to that. A few send-offs have also been seen.
But most of all, the crowd has taken offence to the Mauka Mauka advertisement that was aired during the World Cup, taking the mickey out of the oppositions India faced and subsequently the Bachcha re Bachcha ad promoting this series by calling Bangladesh the little kid that is not so little any more.
The crowd has been vociferous in throwing both of them back at the Indian team. At most presentations, Dhoni has walked up with an aggressive chorus of mauka mauka in the background and when Bangladesh won the series, the Bachcha soundtrack was run after which the PA stated, "We are not kids. We are tigers."
Gautam said he was caught in the middle of that revelry as he attempted to exit the stadium on Sunday. "When Bangladesh won, I was pushed around in the stadium, but I was okay. I just ran to gate No. 2, but it was very crowded and the public was booing India and singing mauka mauka. I ran from there to gate No. 1 where I had kept my bag, and exited the ground. By the time I reached the salon, the whole public jumped on me, and the salon had to pull the shutters down for 10 minutes.
"When they opened the shop 10 minutes later, two policemen came, and in their shelter we went straight to gate No. 2. But on the way people snatched my flag, tugged at my pants, my ponytail, basically behaved indecently. The policemen sat me in the auto, but when we reached the hotel, the auto driver asked me for BDT 700, which I didn't have. Angry, he dropped me back at gate No. 3 of the ground, from where I hitched a ride on a motorcycle.
"I would like to thank the Bangladesh police because without them who knows if I would have been here still. They got me an auto, the deputy commissioner and station in-charge of Mirpur Police came and checked on me, and they have given me security to come here today. Tomorrow also there will be policemen with me and after the match is over they only will drop me at the hotel."