Cricket to crack down on chuckers

Last updated 00:24 03/03/2009

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It was just one plastic bottle, but it's enough to have caused a security scare at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

This week's one-day cricket match against India at the stadium will have increased security after the Indian players protested about the bottle being thrown on to the field during Friday night's Twenty20 thriller.

Stadium chief executive David Grey and Wellington city councillor John Morrison, a former international cricketer, have both pointed out that the incident was nothing compared with what happened at games in India. Mr Morrison said that, when he toured India in the 1970s, crowds let off crackers, threw fruit over high-wire fences and set fires in the grandstands.

Nonetheless, he defended the Indian players from accusations that they were being precious. "I think it was pretty justifiable. They had their backs to the crowd, they've not been here before and they don't know what's going on."

Stadium chief executive David Gray said the incident "barely hits the radar screen" when compared with what went on in India, but it was still unacceptable.

Although the bottle landed close to a player near the boundary, Mr Gray said "it wasn't a major and there's a little bit of doubt as to whether it was actually thrown at the player". Nevertheless, the first three rows of seats will be cleared of spectators for Friday's one-day international.

Mr Gray said warnings against racial abuse, displayed on the big screen at the Twenty20 match, were not prompted by anything that happened on the night they were a standard International Cricket Council notice posted at all games. "It was an incredibly well-behaved game. I talked to the police afterwards and they were totally happy."

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said concerns about the incident were expressed by the Indian team and by match referee Ranjan Madugalle.



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- The Dominion Post

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