Responding to a note from BCCI president Shashank Manohar seeking explanation about the crowd behaviour during the T20I between India and South Africa, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) today said it will not allow water bottles inside the Barabati Stadium in future.
“We will not allow water bottles inside the stadium henceforth,” OCA secretary Asirbad Behera said regarding the October 5 incident.
The BCCI has sought a report from OCA within two days but Behera said the Odisha board will place its point of view within two hours.
“We have assured BCCI that such an incident would not be repeated at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.” he assured.
Manohar in his letter had asked OCA to explain why the spectators were allowed to carry the bottles inside the stadium, which is against the ICC guidelines.
Angry spectators had hurled missiles, mainly water bottles, into the cricket ground as South Africa were cruising towards victory against India and halted the match for a considerable amount of time.
The BCCI letter came as the incident created a nation-wide outcry over the disruption of the game. During the second innings of the match, the spectators at the Barabati Stadium disrupted the game by hurling plastic water bottles on the field. As a result, the game had to be stopped for several minutes twice before most of the spectators were evacuated from the stadium for it to resume.
“We had allowed water bottles to the stadium in view of the heat and humidity. The decision was taken on humanitarian grounds little knowing that the water bottles would be misused by the spectators,” OCA president Ranjib Biswal said.
Meanwhile the Odisha Police tried to distance themselves from the mess by claiming that OCA allowed the water bottles in the stadium despite the restriction.
“We had told them not to allow water bottles. No one was allowed to take the water bottle while entering the stadium. But OCA later allowed vendors to carry water bottles,” said Cuttack DCP Sanjeev Arora.
Anguished over the shameful incident, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the state home secretary to probe into the matter and submit a report within one month.