A group of spectators flung a pair of shoes at the edge of the boundary at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in the vicinity of Chennai Super Kings players, prompting the intervention of police in CSK's first home match in nearly three years. The incident happened in the eighth over of the game against Kolkata Knight Riders, after which the concerned spectators were evicted from the ground and, as per reports, taken into custody.
The incident followed calls, in the lead up to the game, for people to protest over the hosting of IPL games in Chennai. Several local political parties and fringe groups had called for a boycott of the IPL matches in Chennai till the lengthy Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and neighbouring state Karnataka is resolved. While there was no confirmation that the shoe-throwing incident was directly related to this issue, it was expected to be the likely cause.
The group was carrying flags, which are not permitted inside the venue, and flung the shoes near Ravindra Jadeja, who was posted at the long-on boundary, and Faf du Plessis, who was seemingly carrying drinks for team-mates. CSK officials and the police subsequently intervened and diffused the tension.
Hours before the start of the match, there were protests on Wallajah Road near the MA Chidambaram Stadium, albeit amid beefed-up security. Later, the toss was delayed by 13 minutes; match officials reportedly arrived late at the venue due to heavy traffic around the stadium, but play began on time.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo