Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Amol Karhadkar and Nagraj Gollapudi
BCCI president Shashank Manohar has sought a report from the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) over the crowd disturbance incident that marred the second Twenty20 between India and South Africa. Manohar sought an explanation after match referee Chris Broad's report was made available to the BCCI, and received a reply from the OCA on the same day - as it had done with ESPNcricinfo earlier, the association cited the harsh weather conditions for allowing plastic water bottles to be taken into the stands.*
The T20 was disrupted twice due to a section of crowd pelting water bottles onto the field on three occasions following India's batting collapse. Allowing water bottles into the stands is not the norm in Indian stadiums.
"The board had given us two days to reply but we have sent our reply in just two hours," OCA secretary Asirbad Behara told ESPNcricinfo. "We have written to the board that considering the comfort of the spectators who were sitting in sultry heat for the match, we decided to allow water bottles to be carried in the stands.
"Since a handful of spectators turned nasty and caused disturbance to the match, we have regretted the decision and have assured the BCCI that we will never repeat such an act."
It will be interesting to see if the BCCI acts against one of its full members based on this report.
The ICC has no role to play in the matter and has no powers to take any action against the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The onus instead is on the host board, the BCCI, to conduct its own investigation and determine if the venue should be penalised. With respect to the safety and security of the teams in a bilateral series, it is agreed that it will be the responsibility of the host board.
Although the ICC has its own guidelines as to what can be permitted inside the ground for fans, they only apply to ICC tournaments. During bilateral series, the host board has its own sets of rules and regulations that the venues need to adhere to, so it is for the BCCI to determine whether there was any violation on part of the OCA for allowing the spectators to carry plastic bottles into the ground. However, the ICC match officials - referee and umpires - are always encouraged to make sure the match is completed.
In the event of an incident like the crowd trouble witnessed during the Cuttack T20, the protocol demands that the match referee include a blow-by-blow account of the same in his report. It is then passed on to the ICC, which then forwards it to the BCCI. The BCCI will then submit a report based on its findings and the action it took along with the learnings from the incident to the ICC. This report will then be discussed at the chief executives' meeting. Considering the next CEC meeting is scheduled to be held later this week in Dubai, the Cuttack incident would come up for discussion only at the next round of meetings.
Sachin Tendulkar has already expressed disappointment over the incident, calling for "more responsible behaviour". "What happened during the game is definitely not good for the game. It has happened earlier also," Tendulkar told NDTV. "We need learn from these mistakes.
"We are all passionate about the game. We all love the game so we get disappointed and frustrated at times. There are ways to express that but what happened in Cuttack is certainly not the to way show your emotions. I would request all the fans to think about it [the incident], show some maturity."
*16.00GMT, October 7: This article was updated after the OCA replied to the BCCI.