The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No logic behind crowd trouble: Procter

Nagpur, Nov. 9: The West Indian victory was not the only repeat that happened at the VCA Stadium today. Crowd disturbance raised its ugly head once again following the Jamshedpur fiasco.

The match was held up for nine minutes during the Indian innings following an incident of stone throwing at Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was fielding near the boundary ropes, in the 17th over. The happening took everyone by surprise since Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman were going great guns at that stage.

“I don’t understand the logic behind it,” said Mike Procter after the game. He clarified that he did not see any other motive behind such incidents than something “purely cricketing”.

The Match Referee said that the umpires confirmed that it was a stone that was hurled at Sarwan and not any other missile. It was only after he spoke to the police and the organisers that the West Indies returned to the action.

“It was not a feeling of lack of security. I was perturbed by the stone throwing and if it happened again I would have taken the teams off the field,” said Procter.

“Jamshedpur was different from what happened here. It is up to the Indian public to sort out the security aspect in the stands. The local authorities have done as much as possible. It’s sad that the people are causing the problem.”

The spectators again vented their anger once India lost the match. Water pouches and some water bottles which people managed to smuggle inside the stadium, were thrown into the ground.

Procter said that his report to the International Cricket Council after each match will “just take the basic facts into account”. “I don’t make any suggestions. The ICC has obviously been in contact with the BCCI regarding the players’ security.”

The Match Referee said that he had discussions with the organisers in detail before the match. “The security in general has been pretty good. However, it’s difficult to stop a person in the stands from throwing an object into the ground.”

He said he had no special plans for Ahmedabad from the security perspective. “I will take each match as it comes. It will not be different from any other venue.”

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