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Cuttack fiasco

Indian cricket fans are notoriously fickle. The heroes they worship one moment can be the object of their ire when they <g data-gr-id="40">come</g> a cropper. The recent T-20 match between India and South Africa made headlines not thanks to the horror show by India’s <g data-gr-id="39">much vaunted</g> batting line-up but on account of appalling crowd behaviour. India, who also lost the first match of the series, were shot out for their second lowest T20 total of 92, to the displeasure of a full house at the Barabati Stadium.  Irate supporters hurled bottles during the change of innings and again when South Africa were batting, forcing the players off with the visitors 70 for three in 13.2 overs and coasting to a series win. Who can forget the ugly scenes at Eden Gardens in <g data-gr-id="36">1996.</g> It marked a new low in crowd behaviour.  Fans threw water bottles into the ground and  set <g data-gr-id="32">fire</g> in the stands. During the semi-finals in World Cup 1996, Indian batting line up collapsed while chasing a 252- run target at Eden Gardens. Spectators refused to see reason and eventually the match was called off and Sri Lanka was declared the winners. Who can forget the poignant image of a sobbing Vinod Kambli returning to the pavilion after the match referee handed the match to the <g data-gr-id="35">Lankans.</g> India were in tatters and would have lost anyway, but the unceremonious end was something that gave Indian cricket a bad name. The antics of a few lumpen elements ensured that Bengal’s cricket lovers were deprived of quality cricket for years. The India Pakistan clash during the 97’ Sahara Cup witnessed similar scenes.  Fans started hurling expletives at the then Indian captain Azharuddin after they <g data-gr-id="28">were bundled</g> out for 116 against their arch-rivals Pakistan. Recently anointed BCCI president Sashank Manohar on Wednesday sought a detailed report from Odisha cricket association on the Cuttack fiasco. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was also livid and wanted answers from OCA. Twitter was awash with past and present cricketers expressing their disgust at what unfolded in Cuttack.  Manohar who has pledged to cleanse Indian cricket will have to seriously address the issue of crowd management during cricket matches. He will have to tackle this recurring problem with the same fervour as either conflict of interest or match fixing. <g data-gr-id="34">Venues where fans resort to such unseemly behaviour</g> need to be sent out a stern message.
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