Bottles spoil cricket battle

Trinidad Express
April 26, 1999

Watched by angry spectators in the stands, workers pick up bottles
thrown onto the Kensington Oval field after hometown hero Sherwin Campbell had been given run-out despite a collision with Aussie pacer Brendon Julien.

ALMOST a quarter of a century after he played his last innings for the West Indies, Sir Garfield Sobers was called upon to save West Indies cricket yesterday.

The hordes who only had eyes for hometown idol Sherwin Campbell after he copped both the Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series titles, probably had very short memories. But many moments earlier, their intolerance had brought WI cricket to its knees yet again.

"From the players' point of view, it is not a satisfactory situation," said Australian captain Steve Waugh at the end. After the madness of Guyana, it was really déjà vu.

For 45 ugly minutes, Waugh had seen posses in the Kensington, Mitchy Hewitt and Banks Beer stands chanting defiantly, banging on signboards and throwing bottles, while the authorities tried to restore order.

Their good sense had taken its leave in the 29th over of the West Indies run chase when dear Sherwin was adjudged to have been run out after he collided with Australian pacer Brendon Julian in mid-pitch. The batsman was clearly impeded as he attempted to complete a quick single, Julian appearing to step deliberately into his path.

But umpire Basil Morgan ruled him out and skipper Waugh did not deem it fit to recall the batsman.
Still visibly bristling, Campbell continued his protests as he retired to the safety of the pavilion.

But anger was building in waves around the ground and it began bursting forth in the shape of hurtling Banks beer and soft drink bottles and paper containers.

Soon the disruption soon began to take on the form of a protest demonstration.

Seemingly proud of themselves, the crowd cried, "No Campbell, no cricket!," in between shouted versions of the Barbados national anthem.

Memories of the boycott staged in 1992 for the South Africa Test Match rushed back. Another homeboy, Anderson Cummins, was at the heart of that controversy.

Yesterday, it took the words of national hero Sobers to quiet the crowd. Eventually. In the morning, the audience had stood to him during a presentation ceremony ahead of National Heroes Day.

But now, a resounding "Noooo!" greeted Sir Gary's first appeal for the match to continue.

"I appeal to you as Barbadians for God's sake not to cause any more interruption to the game!"

It was only when he announced that the Australians and the umpires had agreed to let Campbell continue, that the crowd cooled down.

West Indies batsmen Sherwin Campbell, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul emerge from the dressing room to resume their innings in the 7th Cable and Wireless One-Day International between Australia and the West Indies at Keningston Oval, Barbados, yesterday.

When temperatures had cooled completely at the end of the game, Waugh told the media that things had happened in the heat of the moment.

"Everything happened in a flash. Both players ran into each other and the bails were taken off," Waugh said.

"Sherwin ran into the back of Brendon. I had to trust the guys. The replay can be interpreted in two different ways."

Waugh went further saying that it is difficult to put the onus on the players in such a situation.

"I don't think you can blame the players. You've got to be aware of where you're playing. Players have got to take a bit of the responsibility but you don't want to blame him (Campbell) because it was a spur of the moment thing. He wasn't thinking about batting in front of his home crowd. He just wanted to keep batting. It's a fine line."

For his part, West Indies manager Clive Lloyd felt that the available technology should be used to the full in considering controversial incidents.

"It was an unfortunate situation. But I feel that these days, technology should come into play. If you have a decision like that, I think the referee and the umpires should combine and sort it out."

Waugh, however, had a somewhat different view about what might be the solution to the problems caused by crowd behaviour.

He replied cautiously:"I don't know what the answer is. I don't know the way the administrators think. But it's a tough situation all round. But for things to happen in two out of three games, obviously something is wrong with security."