Former Captain Sunil Gavaskar says Cuttack should not be given an international match for two years

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Slamming the crowd behaviour and the police response to it during the second Twenty20 cricket match between India and South Africa, former captain Sunil Gavaskar has said that Barabati Stadium in Cuttack should be banned as an international venue for two years.

The second T20 International, which South Africa won by six wickets after bowling out for 92 runs, was marred by boorish crowd behaviour as spectators threw water bottles on the field disrupting play.

“The police were standing there without any instructions. The policemen, who are stationed on the boundary perimeter should not be watching cricket but monitoring the behaviour of the fans,” a furious Gavaskar.

“Cuttack should not be given an international match for the next couple of years. As a deterrent, the BCCI must also stop the subsidy to the Odisha Cricket Association,” he said.

The former skipper said irrespective of the team’s poor performance, the spectators have no right to disrupt play by throwing objects on the field. “Do the crowd throw valuables when the team does well? When the team does badly, the fans have no business to throw rubbish,” Gavaskar said.

India were bowled out for their second-lowest total in T20I history as comeback-man Albie Morkel notched up three wickets to dismantle the home side’s line-up. With last night’s win, South Africa gabbed a 2-0 lead in the series, which concludes with the third match on October 8 in Kolkata.

“My honest advice to Indian players is not to get complacent. They must strive to get better. Amit Mishra could have been tried as MS Dhoni had no confidence in Axar Patel. I think Axar is being rushed into international cricket too soon,” said Gavaskar in his analysis of the Indian team’s performance so far. The T20Is would be followed by a five-match ODI series starting from October 11.

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Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.