Top 3 instances of shocking crowd behavior which abrupted the outcome of a cricket match

Pakistan and Afghanistan locked horns in a high-octane spectacle. Naseem Shah’s heroics helped the Men in Green knock out Afghanistan of the Asia Cup 2022. Mohammad Nabi and his men fought hard and were the favorites until the end. Star bowler Naseem struck two sixes on the first two balls of the last over to seal the deal for Pakistan. Disappointed by the result, the Afghani supporters crossed all limits and started a brawl in the stands. Afghan fans uprooted the chairs and threw them at Pakistan supporters. It was not the end as they also engaged in a physical fight outside the ground. This article will focus on the Top 3 instances of shocking crowd behavior which abrupted the match.

3. Pakistan vs England, Karachi, 3rd Test,1969

Third on the list is England’s tour to Pakistan in 1969. The series was an effort towards improving mutual relations between the countries. Pakistan was going through political unrest during those times. And ideally, the series should have been called off. But as per the orders, the two teams locked horns in a three-match Test series. When the England side reached a disturbed Pakistan, their itinerary was changed, and the matches were reduced to four days. As a result of the changes, the first two matches ended in a draw. The unrest caused by Pakistani students hindered the first two matches, but the play went on. Come to the third Test, England, batting first, amassed 412 for six by the end of Day 2. 

The following day, the rioters broke into the ground and set the stands and VIP enclosure on fire, risking the player’s safety. Allan Knott missed out on his century by four runs, and the match had to be abandoned. The protesters also destroyed the pitch. The impact was such that the match ended in a draw, and the English players had to fly back home on the same day.

2. India vs Pakistan, Kolkata,1999 Asian Test Championship

India vs Pakistan is always a blockbuster event. Irrespective of the format the two nations are participating in, the crowd would never miss the opportunity to see the two teams compete. Over 1,00,000 fans showed up during the first four days for the inaugural match of the first edition of the Asia Test Championship at Eden Gardens. Batting first, Pakistan collapsed on 185. India were the better side in the 1st innings, as they amassed 223 and took a lead of 38 runs. Batting second, Saeed Anwar took the onus upon himself and scored 188 to help his side score 316. India required 279 to win by the end of Day 3. On Day 4, fans’ favorite Sachin Tendulkar was batting. The master blaster was on 7 when he struck the ball to deep-midwicket. After a comfortable double, Tendulkar had to push hard for a third one but ended up colliding with Shoaib Akhtar, resulting in his run-out. The Indian fans felt the decision should have been overturned as Akhtar deliberately collided with Tendulkar. When Akhtar returned to the boundary after his over, the crowd pelted him with stones, bottles, and other objects. The umpires called for an early tea to handle the raging crowd. The match was delayed for an hour, and Sachin had to appeal to the crowd to calm down and let the play resume. There were burnt newspapers in the stand, and chants of ‘ cheat, cheat ‘ echoing in the ground for Akhtar, but after Tendulkar’s appeal, the crowd settled, and the match resumed.

3. India vs Sri Lanka, 1996 World Cup Semi-finals

Eden Gardens and Kolkata were at the helm of another shameful crowd behavior and arguably the worst in cricket. The Men in Blue rolled over their opponents in the 1996 World Cup. They defeated arch-rivals, Pakistan, in the quarterfinals and played Sri Lanka in the semi-finals at Eden Gardens. Sri Lanka posed a target of 251. Chasing the total, India were cruising to their 2nd World Cup final before Sachin was dismissed on 65. What followed was a nightmare. The Indian side went from 98 for 2 to 120 for 8 in a few overs. Angered by what they saw, the fans vented their frustration by throwing bottles on the field and setting the seats on fire. The play was eventually called off, and the Island nation was awarded the match. Sri Lanka then went on to win their first World Cup.


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