The Kensington Oval controversy

By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
May 3, 1999

Spectators throwing bottles onto the outfield interrupted the seventh and final one-day international match between the West Indies and Australia before the West Indies eventually won by eight wickets on April 25. The controversial dismissal of West Indian opener Sherwin Campbell, who was run out after colliding with bowler, Brendon Julian, in mid-pitch sparked trouble. Campbell was subsequently reinstated following discussions among the officials and allowed to continue batting. This week the man/woman-in-the street comments on the incident which occurred at the Kensington Oval in Barbados just four days after a crowd prematurely invaded the Georgetown Cricket Club Ground at Bourda resulting in the match being declared a tie.

Lavonne George - teacher: `I think that what happened at Kensington was atrocious and outrageous when compared to what happened at Bourda. People ran out on the ground at Bourda prematurely out of jubilation but the bottle throwing incident at Kensington was simply barbaric behaviour. While I should not condone what took place in Guyana and Barbados, the Bajans still think that what they did was better than what took place in Guyana. Because the batsman was reinstated, they thought that their actions were justified but I do not think so. If you're given out, you're out. It was bad enough having the Australian Captain, Steve Waugh, saying that he had to compromise for the safety of his players and having a former West Indies test player and commentator saying that had he been the captain of the Australian side, he would not have encouraged his players back on the field. I think the Kensington debacle was a sad day for cricket in the West Indies.'

Pradeep Singh - vendor: `The bottle throwing incident and the reinstatement of the batsman when he was given out was totally wrong. Campbell should not have been reinstated. In the same match a similar incident had occurred where Guyanese and West Indies bowler, Reon King, got in the way of Australian batsman, Michael Bevan. What happened at Bourda, too, was wrong. We should not make comparisons with our wrong-doings. Wrong is wrong. Cricket as far as I am concerned was the loser. Because of what happened, the match at Kensington Oval should have been abandoned. There was no joy in the final outcome of the match as far as I was concerned. Based on what transpired at Bourda and at the Kensington Oval, I think that some disciplinary action should be meted out to the cricket boards of both countries but international cricket should not be banned from coming to Guyana or even Barbados.'

Adam Scott - private sector employee: `What goes around must come around is how the saying goes. People in the Caribbean, including ourselves, were saying that Guyanese are bad people and better could not be expected from us. However, I felt that what happened in Barbados was worse than what took place in Guyana. No bottle was thrown on Bourda and inspite of the violence displayed at the Kensington Oval I have not heard any cricket official calling for a ban on international cricket in Barbados. As a matter of fact, I do not believe that international cricket should be banned from any West Indian cricket loving nation. The WICB should, however, take the incidents as a learning experience and improve on areas that need to be improved. I do not agree that because of disruptions to a game that the host nation should lose a match to the visitor. This could also have serious repercussions. The authorities in the region undoubtedly need to beef up security.'

Mustaq Ayube - marketing representative: `The Kensington Oval debacle was unfortunate. It was as unfortunate as Bourda's. The decision to bring Campbell back on the field after he was given out was most unfortunate and it was also embarrassing for the match referee. I am a West Indian and a strong supporter of the home team but I would not condone what is wrong. Campbell was out and was given a chance to return to the field in the interest of the sport but cricket lost out at the end of the day. What happened at Bourda and at the Oval should not be allowed to happen again. I agree with the suggestion that the home team should be penalised for such uncalled for behaviour. Victory should go to the visiting team after all people spend so much money to go to see the test and one-day matches.'

Laurie Adonis - self-employed: `I think that the people in Barbados were right in a sense because we need to take stands on issues we believe in strongly. I agree that the bottle throwing was a dangerous situation and that people... the players could have been injured but the spectators had to make Subba Row come to his senses. Based on the replays I have seen, the run out was deliberate. If it was not deliberate I am sure that the Bajans would not have behaved in the manner they did. Subba Row made a terrible decision in deciding the outcome of the Bourda match which has resulted in a tie in the one-day series. I hope that in future Guyanese take a page out of the Barbados incident. No one protested the outcome in Guyana.'

Lakeram Namdeo - self-employed: `In Barbados the people there behaved worse and even more stupid than Guyanese. At least we accepted that the umpire's decision was final as the outcome of the Bourda invasion. The match referee had no right bringing back the run out batsman after he was declared out. Not because I am a West Indian I will accept unfair play. The game must be played fairly and squarely. I don't even feel happy that we went on to win the match. The win left a bad taste in my mouth because the win was not convincing. In spite of all that I have said I do not believe that disciplinary action should be meted out to the WICB by the international cricket board or that the local cricket boards should be disciplined. I feel, however, that they are accountable and that investigations should be mounted into the Bourda and Kensington incidents and the findings and recommendations should be made public. We have to prepare ourselves to host the World Cup billed for the year 2007. The incidents that occur are no excuse to deny the West Indies the chance to host the sport.'

Martin De Freitas - private sector employee: `I think that the bottle throwing incident in Barbados could have been avoided. It was obvious that Campbell was deliberately run out and that the Australian Captain, Steve Waugh, could have acknowledged that on the field. I am convinced that the Australians lost the one day series to the West Indies since the West Indies won the match outright at Bourda even though it was ruled a tie by the match referee. I do not believe that comparisons could be made between the incident at Bourda and the one in Barbados. Both must be condemned because we should not encourage unruly behaviour. Also, we must not compare our actions to those of European and Asian countries.'

Ray Busby - businessman: `I think that the action of the Barbadian spectators was justifiable as the run out was deliberate. I am surprised that the local commentators thought that it was a run out and that it took the manager of the West Indies team to realise that it was deliberate. Saying that Campbell was run out but that in the interest of the game he was allowed to continue is hogwash. It was fair play for Campbell to continue the game. If spectators hadn't taken the kind of action they took in no uncertain terms he would have been declared out. As for the Bourda and Kensington Oval debacles, I think that some disciplinary measures should be meted out. However, in keeping with fair play, I would like to know what the international cricketing authorities have done in terms of disciplining cricketing boards of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan where similar or worse atrocities have occurred.'

Royston Carbury - businessman: `The bottle throwing incident was undoubtedly wrong. I think it was never expected to happen in Barbados which is a tourist economy. We had the wickets in hand so there was no need for panic of this nature. But we must understand that sports brings out all kinds of emotions in people, the best and the worst in some cases. In sports there is always misunderstanding and provision must be made for that. In the case of Barbados, the incident could have far-reaching consequences because the country's economy is oriented towards tourism. Tourism has helped to build and sustain its economy and such treatment should not be meted out to visitors. I think that the international cricket board should consider disciplinary measures against the regional cricket boards to guard against future occurrences but they should entertain no thoughts of a ban.'

Hilburn Gumbs - customs clerk: `First of all it was a very ugly incident. The spectators should not have reacted in such a manner. If a man is out he is out. I saw no need for the batsman to be reinstated and secondly no need for the crowd behaviour. If Guyana is to be banned then Barbados, too, should be banned from international cricket and so too should all those countries that commit similar atrocities. None of the incidents should be condoned but banning is not the answer. I would recommend strong disciplinary actions such as fines.'