ICC considers venue ban after crowd trouble again

Guyana Chronicle
November 14, 2002

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LONDON, England (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) said it was looking at expanding its powers to remove international status from venues after crowd trouble again marred India's one-day series with West Indies yesterday.

India were declared the winners of the third one-dayer at Rajkot when play was abandoned after West Indies fielders were struck by objects thrown from the crowd.

India were 200 for one in the 28th over chasing West Indies 300 for five and awarded victory under the Duckworth/Lewis system after play was called off.

The two earlier one-day internationals in Jamshedpur and Nagpur were also affected by crowd trouble but play was able to continue.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said while it did not at present have the authority to remove the international status of a venue, its Safety and Security Committee would consider it ``imminently''.

``We have asked this committee to consider appropriate penalties for venues which consistently fail to meet their obligations in meeting minimum standards of security,'' Speed said in a statement.

``This is likely to include the ultimate sanction of withdrawing international status from a ground, combined with a heavy financial penalty.''

Speed said the ICC had been in contact with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure that security measures would be enhanced to avoid similar scenes occurring in the remaining four matches of the series.

``The ICC ... is now in the process of seeking a full explanation of yesterday's unacceptable events in Rajkot.

``In addition, we have asked for details of the ground stewarding and security plans for the next four matches.

``We will also request that BCCI officials meet with ICC match referee Mike Proctor, to discuss the matter and brief them fully of plans and contingency measures.''

The BCCI said it had requested the chief minister of the western Gujarat state, which hosts the next two fixtures of the series, to order local police to increase security inside the venues for the remaining matches.

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said in a statement that the board's requests had been accepted.

The board also plans to install closed-circuit television cameras in the stands to monitor the crowd.

The BCCI has also suggested that spectators be prevented from carrying in objects that could be used as missiles.

``In case any spectator indulges in activity that could lead to untoward incidents, he should be immediately taken into custody.

``If there is more than an isolated case in any particular stand, it should be vacated by police with the help of ground authorities.''

The BCCI was also in touch with the West Indies board president Wes Hall to assure him of the steps being taken to ensure player safety in India.

``We are hopeful the West Indies cricket board would find the steps satisfactory and advise the team appropriately,'' he added.

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