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Unruly crowd spoils Pakistan farewell party

Islamabad: A grand gala musical farewell party arranged by Pakistan Cricket Board for its World Cup-bound team in Lahore last evening turned ugly as an unruly crowd invaded the venue prompting police to resort to cane charge and forcing the players to make a hasty retreat.

A huge crowd showed up at the Gadaffi Stadium, taking advantage of the free entry, and a section of the over- enthusiastic fans turned unruly leaving the organisers and the police battling to control the situation, the local media reported on Friday.

The presence of Governor of Punjab Khalid Maqbool as chief guest compelled police to resort to lathicharge to clear the crowds.

Trouble started when sections of the crowd gate-crashed through barriers in their effort to get closer to the podium.

The spectators also left their enclosures to climb over the iron grills and poured on to the field. While the organisers made repeated appeals to the crowd to show some discipline, most of the players avoided going on stage.

The organisers were able to invite only Taufeeq Umar, Mohammed Sami, Saleem Elahi, Saqlain Mushtaq, Yousuf Youhana and Abdul Razzak on stage before the police had to be called in to control the crowd.

Later, the organisers dropped the idea of having all the players drive to the podium. Captain Waqar Younis delivered a short speech and left immediately.

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