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Odisha CM orders probe into Barabati crowd fiasco


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 7:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday ordered a probe into the unruly crowd behaviour during India-South Africa T20 International at Barabati Stadium causing embarrassing to the state government as well as the cricket fans.


The chief minister directed the Principal Secretary of Home Department to inquire into the matter and submit report within a month.

Expressing displeasure over the incident, Patnaik told the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) authorities and the top police personnel present in the emergency review meeting at the state secretariat here to take necessary measures to avoid such situation in future.

Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati, Development Commissioner UN Behera, Principal Secretary of Home Department, Sports Secretary Saswat Mishra, DGP Sanjiv Marik, Twin City Police Commissioner Dr RP Sharma, Director of Intelligence department, OCA Secretary Ashirbad Behera, and former IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal were among others present in the meeting.

“The meeting discussed on how to avoid such situation during matches in future. Besides, we discussed the precautionary measured to be taken during matches so as to uphold the image of Odisha,” OCA Secretary Ashirbad Behera said.

Earlier in the day, OCA President Ranjib Biswal described yesterday’s unruly crowd behaviour at Barabati stadium as grossly unfortunate.

“A few unruly spectators of nearly 45,000 spectators are responsible for the incident. Majority of the spectators come to the stadium to enjoy the match whereas a negligible percentage of the crowd indulge in such dishonourable practices which was seen last night. The incident has deeply hurt the sentiments of the cricket lovers of the state as well as the OCA,” Biswal said.

Notably, the second T20 was marred by the unruly crowd as they threw plastic bottles on to the field, forcing stoppage of play for quite some time.

Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar slammed the crowd and urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to suspend the venue from hosting international matches for the next couple of years.

“Cuttack should not be given an international match for the next couple of years. As a deterrent, the BCCI must also stop the subsidy to the Odisha Cricket Association,” he said.

“Do the crowd throw valuables when the team does well? When the team does badly, the fans have no business to throw rubbish,” Gavaskar concluded.