New Delhi - India great Sunil Gavaskar led
calls on Tuesday for Cuttack to be banned as a cricket venue after crowd
trouble twice brought a halt to play in a Twenty20 international against South
Angry Indian fans hurled water bottles onto
the field of play in Monday night's match at the Barabati stadium after the
hosts were bowled out for 92, their second-lowest total in T20 matches.
The Proteas sauntered to a six-wicket
victory but not before match referee Chris Broad had ordered organisers to provide
additional security forces in the packed stands of the 45,000-capacity venue.
"There has to be a deterrent, you
cannot allow that to happen," Gavaskar told NDTV. "I would imagine
that the next time they are due for an international game, that should not be
given to them.
"Maybe it will be another two years
before Cuttack gets a game, but that game should not be given to them and it
should be announced that it has not been given to them because of crowd
Gavaskar also said the annual subsidy
provided to the Orissa Cricket Association, the host body, by the Indian board
(BCCI) should be stopped.
"Quite clearly a strong message has to
be sent," he added.
The Barabati stadium, which has hosted two
Tests and 18 one-day internationals since 1982, is not a venue for next year's
World Twenty20 to be held in India.
The first bottle-throwing incident came in
the break between innings, but when it happened again after 11 overs of the
South African innings, the match was held up for 27 minutes.
When play resumed, it was stopped again
after two overs for another 24 minutes as security forces cleared the section
of the crowd that was causing the disruption.
The rest of the game passed off without
further incident, allowing the Proteas to win comfortably and take a decisive
2-0 lead in the three-match series.
South Africa's T20 captain Faf du Plessis,
who turns out for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, said it
had saddened him.
"I have been playing in India for the
last five to six years and never ever have I witnessed such an incident,"
he told reporters.
"I don't think it's nice for cricket.
Hopefully, it's the first and last time I'm seeing such a thing."
India's limited-overs captain Mahendra
Singh Dhoni played down the bottle-throwing, saying it never threatened the
"Frankly, from a safety point of view,
I don't think there was a very serious threat," Dhoni said at the
"We didn't play well - at times you
get reactions like this.
"We should not read too much into
TV commentators were not so forgiving with
former South African captain writing on Twitter: "Really sad and
disappointing behaviour from fans in Cuttack tonight! Scenes that should not be
seen at sporting grounds."
There has been no reaction from the Board
of Control for Cricket in India so far.
The final T20 game will be played at the
Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.
South Africa are also due to take part in
five one-day internationals and four Tests during the 10-week tour of India.