Hooper refused to send team back on field
match referee agreed with decision ...

By Thomas Kutty Abraham
Guyana Chronicle
November 14, 2002

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RAJKOT, India, (Reuters) - West Indies captain Carl Hooper refused to send his players back on the field after crowd halted play in the third one-dayer awarded to India, match referee Mike Proctor said yesterday.

``Hooper did not want to continue playing the match and I agree with that decision,'' he told reporters.

The match was awarded to India on the basis of the Duckworth/Lewis method after play was stopped with India on 200 for one in the 28th over chasing a target of 301.

The third successive crowd-disrupted match in the series was abruptly stopped after West Indies fielder Vasbert Drakes was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands.

Proctor said later: ``West Indies did not want to take the field again because it was a third incident that happened, and I agreed.''

Hooper had rested himself for the match because of knee trouble and his deputy Ridley Jacobs led the side.

Proctor said it was originally planned to re-start the game after clearing the stand from where the missiles were thrown.

``If it could have been cleared, play could have resumed but there wasn't enough time left.''

Proctor revealed objects were also thrown at two other West Indies fielders, including Wavell Hinds.

He defended his decision not to resume play. ``We tried to prevent serious injury. We have had problems in all three games and West Indies had the problems all three times.

``If the bottle had hit somebody on the face, it could have seriously injured him.''

Proctor said barring the poor behaviour of a few, the fans were otherwise well behaved.

``The crowd has been very beautiful and patient. It was only a couple of people who created trouble. Until the end the crowd stayed put and there was no incident of protest.''

Asked about assurances from Indian board officials after the first two matches in the series had also been interrupted by crowd trouble, he said:

``Unfortunately, I had assurances from the first match about safety and security.

``I think security in general in India, the Indian board has done a fantastic job. But obviously there is problem with crowd control. It can be pretty difficult if there is a bad element who can cause problem.''

He hoped the rest of the series would be free of incidents. ``It is in the interest of all that we go through the rest of the tour peacefully.''

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly refrained from commenting on the crowd behaviour.

``It is the problem of the match referee and we just abide by his decision. I have nothing to say about it and I should not say anything.''

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