Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 7:
What happened at Barabati stadium of Odisha this Monday night cannot be justified by any sane mind. Yet, the sheer propaganda of vindication against the stadium must stop.
More or less, this is what OCA President and former IPL Boss Ranjib Biswal had to say today about the incident that witnessed hundreds of frenzied cricket lovers hurling bottles towards the playing area after the Indian team got itself into a tight spot in the second T20 game against South Africa.
Biswal reiterated with confidence, what thousands of other followers of the game have been hoping and praying for sincerely. Even though it meant taking on legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.
“International matches will surely be held in Barabati stadium. I respect Gavaskar as a good cricketer and commentator, but he is no authority to ban matches at Barabati,” said Biswal in an exclusive interview to Kanak News today.
36 hours after the incident; after a series of denouncements, mudslinging and shame business, the OCA Chief has spoken sense and has pointed to solution.
“There is no point of banning the venue. We had made all proper arrangements for the match and there was no mishap. Only about a 100 people were the ones making trouble. The ones with sick minds. We will further plug out the loop holes in the security arrangement and home ministry inquiry report could provide welcome light. Henceforth bottles or anything that can be thrown into the fields will not be allowed into the stadium,” he added pointing to the solution.
Notably, Biswal is not alone in playing down the incident. The bottle hurling incident was not taken seriously by the playing parties either.
“We didn’t play well and at times you get reaction like these. We should not be taking such things seriously. It’s only the first few bottles that are hurled with serious intent, after that they just do it for fun. When it comes to the safety of the players, I don’t think there was any serious threat. I still remember we played in Vizag once and we won the game very easily and that time also a lot of bottles were thrown,” said the captain of the team under fire (Indian Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni).
Similarly, his South African counterpart Du Plessis said,” All around the world you get people who get really passionate about their team. Sometimes you cross that boundary you shouldn’t”.
It may be worth mentioning here that incident had created a wave of criticism and call for heavy penalties on the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA).
In the forefront is Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who told a TV channel that, “The venue deserved to be banned from hosting international matches for two years and the annual subsidy provided to the OCA should be stopped since quite clearly a strong message has to be sent.”