'SHAMEFUL ACT': BCA boss 'hurt' by Oval incident

by Philip Spooner/NATIONSPORT
April 28, 1999

PRESIDENT of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), Tony Marshall, said he was deeply hurt by the bottle-throwing incident which halted play at Kensington Oval on Sunday.

“I am embarrassed on behalf of the BCA that such an incident took place in Barbados,” Marshall said. “I would like to erase it from my memory as soon as possible.

“One can understand what would have driven the spectators to some degree of disgust, but nevertheless, Barbadians must remain mindful that in today’s world, hundreds of millions (of people) are viewing these games.

“Half of the world saw the incident. Therein lies my pain,” said an upset Marshall.

The incident occurred after local boy Sherwin Campbell, who was going great guns on 52, was adjudged run out after colliding with Australian bowler Brendon Julian. The crowd disagreed with the umpires’ decision and littered the outfield with bottles, causing play to be halted for 45 minutes before Campbell was reinstated.

Marshall said the incident would be high on the agenda at the next BCA management meeting, but he offered suggestions to remedy any such mishaps in the future.

“We are going to have to move to get Government to introduce legislation to have bottles banned at Kensington,” Marshall said. “All bars will have to serve drinks in cups.”

He said it would not be too farfetched to have both monetary and other penalties slapped on those who have been involved in any infringements at a game.

“We just cannot have something like what happened on Sunday interfering with the great game of cricket,” he said. “When you consider what a marvellous job the police did and the ambiance of the Test match (in late March) and Saturday’s game, the ugly scene should not have happened.”

Marshall was not willing to attach blame to anyone, but gave a number of suggestions which he felt could have prevented the situation.

He said the umpires could have exercised the rules and called “dead ball” when Campbell fell, or the Australian captain could have sought leave of the umpires and recalled the batsman.

“We must, however, accept that the umpires’ decision is final,” he said. “The crowd must understand this.”