PM says sorry for Bajans' bottle-throwing

Barbados Nation
April 27, 1999

Prime Minister Owen Arthur yesterday expressed deep regret over Sunday’s bottle-throwing incident at Kensington Oval, while his Australian counterpart urged cricket’s bosses to show more leadership.

Arthur apologised to the cricketing world on behalf of Barbados for the interruption of play during the seventh One-Day International between West Indies and Australia.

The trouble erupted after the controversial run-out of West Indies opener Sherwin Campbell after a collision with bowler Brendon Julian.

Play resumed after match referee Raman Subba Row met the Australian and West Indies team management and local officials and it was decided to reinstate Campbell.

“I want to say I am sorry on behalf of the children and particularly young people in Barbados ... Sunday’s melee is not the type of examples that we would want our young people to emulate,” Arthur said after a tour of a cricket exhibition at Erdiston Primary School.

Describing the incident as unfortunate, he said it reflected poorly on some mature adults who deliberately failed to set the right examples.

“The incident which happened on Sunday at Kensington Oval was simply not the kind of image that I would like to see mature adults projecting of Barbados in this technological age.”

Arthur said the incident was a situation where emotions ran high among thousands of excited fans clearly outraged at what they interpreted to be Campbell’s unfair dismissal.

Arthur, who attended the game but left before the incident, said he was optimistic it would not tarnish the image of Barbados’ cricket indefinitely.

“This does not excuse the behaviour but I hope that it does not forever stand as a stigma against the good name of cricket in Barbados.”

Australian Prime Minister John Howard condemned the crowd behaviour.

“I think it is quite distressing that mob violence and mob intimidation can have an impact on the result of a game,” he told reporters in the capital, Canberra.

“It does appear from what I heard that the umpire’s decision was altered as a result of threats by the crowd and an indication that physical safety could not be guaranteed.

“Sports administrators around the world have got to show more leadership on these issues,” Howard added.

Australian Cricket Board spokesman Michael Hogan appeared willing to give Barbados a reprieve.

‘‘Sunday’s events seem to be outside of the normal behavioural patterns in Barbados,’’ he told reporters in Sydney.