NEW DELHI India: Crowd violence marred the Pakistan cricket squad’s recent triumphant tour of India, and its manager and captain fear serious law and order problems at Indian venues for the World Cup in October.
Imran Khan led the Pakistanis to victory over the Indians in the final test after four draws, winning Pakistan’s first test series in India. Pakistan also toppled the reigning World Cup Champions by five wins to one in the one day internationals.
The series, which ended last week, was contested amid crowd violence that disrupted play at three cities.
Pakistan Manager Nazeer Ahmed told Reuters that India would need to take measures to solve the problem before finalizing the venues for matches in the World Cup, to be staged jointly by India and Pakistan from October 8.
He said that two of his men, fast bowler Wasim Akram and batsman Javed Miandad, were injured by stones thrown by spectators during matches on the tour.
“I think the law and order system totally failed at Ahmedabad and Nagpur. We have serious reservations about playing at those venues in future”, Ahmed said.
Indian cricket officials have said they will discuss the issue.
During the recent series officials confirmed Ahmedabad as the venue for the fourth test, after local government official’s guaranteed tight security to prevent a recurrence of the Hindu Moslem violence claimed at least 50 lives last year.
The first test was originally scheduled for Ahmedabad from January 30 but was shifted to Madras after another round of sectarian violence in Ahmedabad, in India’s. Western Gujarat state.
“Zimbabwe play India at Ahmedabad and New Zealand face India at Nagpur, and I can tell you they will be far less tolerant of this. Kind of behavior than us,” Ahmed said.
Imran Khan told reporters at Jamshedpur, where his team played its last match, that he had feared serious injury to his men during the tour and advised Indian cricket officials to impose some form of punishment on misbehaving crowds.
Khan took his team off the field temporarily at Ahmedabad after some of the 25,000strong crowd hurled stones and bottles at Pakistani fielders.
Play was disrupted for 50 minutes before Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar cooled tempers by reminding spectators that they were in the native state of Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of nonviolence.
Ahmedabad police, who did not intervene for fear of worsening the situation, said later an anticipated full house of 60,000 for a World Cup tie could be beyond their control.
At Nagpur, local cricket officials quickly sought police help when spectators started throwing bottles and stones at the Pakistanis.
The crowds also threw objects at the visitors in Bangalore as India slid to its first defeat in a test series at home against Pakistan. Bangalore is also a World Cup venue.
LAHORE, Pakistan, Imran Khan Will Captain Pakistan on the forthcoming tour of England, the Pakistan Cricket Board of Control said today.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 3, 1987