The outbreak of Coronavirus has caused things upside down in India as almost all the cricketing events scheduled in the next 30 days got pushed away. The 3-match ODI series between India and South Africa had to be shifted alongside the last couple of domestic games in what was a long season. Even the Indian Premier League (IPL) moved to a different date which has never happened in the previous 12 years after the schedule was released.
There is a possibility of the IPL being played behind closed doors like the final day of Ranji Trophy final earlier this month. Playing cricket behind the closed doors in India might be weird given the amount of support the sport gets in this part of the world. However, India did host quite a few matches in the past behind closed doors due to various reasons.
Here are three instances where the crowd was barred from spectating the game:
3. Ranji Trophy 2012-13
In recent times, the Ranji Trophy is not known to attract decent turn-up of the crowd. Adding to this, most of the venues used for the tournament doesn’t have proper seating. However, the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore has always drawn a decent number of spectators given the cricket passionate people in the state. During the 2012-13 season, Karnataka hosted Delhi in the group stage at this venue.
The spectators who turned up to support their team for this game were not allowed by the security. The reason being the venue was handed over to the Police in the view of a T20I game between India and Pakistan scheduled a little over 2 weeks from the start of the Ranji game. Thus the security arrangements for the T20I barred the passionate viewers away from the venue at least on the first day.
2. Duleep Trophy final 2009-10
The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad stood host for the Duleep Trophy final between South Zone and West Zone. The home team South Zone was led by Dinesh Karthik while the West Zone by Wasim Jaffer and had Pathan brothers in their ranks. This interesting game began behind closed doors due to security concerns. Hyderabad, then part of Andhra Pradesh, was in political unrest due to Telangana state movement.
A domestic T20 game played a couple of weeks before the Duleep Trophy final was troubled by the crowd that removed the stumps and sat on the outfield. The game turned out to be a thriller and went down into the history books. Karthik scored twin centuries compiling 183 and 150 respectively as West Zone were set a target of 536 to win. Yusuf Pathan was on similar mode scoring a 76-ball 108 in the first innings but his team conceded a 149-run lead.
Yusuf continued his brilliance with the bat during the 2nd innings by scoring an unbeaten 210 from only 190 balls as West Zone chased down the mountain with three wickets in hand. This was the highest successful chase ever in the first-class cricket history. Limited entry was allowed for the crowd from the 3rd day’s play as a good number of fans witnessed Yusuf Pathan script a World record. About 1500 spectators were in the stands to watch the history being made.
1. India vs Pakistan, Kolkata in 1999
Pakistan’s tour of India at the start of 1999 was a blockbuster one due to some exciting Test matches. The visitors won the first Test by 12 runs in Chennai surviving a scare from Sachin Tendulkar. India levelled the series in Delhi following a perfect ten by Anil Kumble. The 3rd Test held at the Eden Gardens was part of the Asian Test Championship. Pakistan were bowled out for 185 in their first innings after been reduced to 26/6 by 9th over of the game.
India took a slender lead of 38 runs after they were bowled out for 223. Saeed Anwar carried the bat for the Pakistan scoring an unbeaten 188 out of team’s total of 316. India were on course of a win during the 279-run chase as the openers shared a 108-run stand. Sachin Tendulkar, batting on 7, clipped a delivery towards mid-wicket region and reached 5000 runs when he completed the 2nd run. Tendulkar ran for the third run but collided with Shoaib Akhtar before reaching the crease.
The collision saw Sachin falling short against a direct-hit from the substitute fielder Nadeem Khan. Tendulkar was declared out by the TV umpire after taking a while to announce his decision. The Kolkata crowd became vocal by end of the over and started to chant ‘cheat, cheat’ and even threw bottles at Akhtar when he stood in the deep. An early TV was taken and Sachin Tendulkar walked on to the field along with the then ICC President Jagmohan Dalmiya and requested the crowd to stop their protests.
The game eventually resumed after an hour break and India stood 62 runs away from the target with 4 wickets in hand. The local lad Sourav Ganguly was the first to be dismissed on the final day and India were reduced to 231/9. The spectators began to burn papers and threw objects on the field.
As a result, the match was held for nearly three hours to remove a crowd of 60000+ before resuming the game. Pakistan needed 10 deliveries to complete the rituals in front of empty stands.
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