ICL: Indian Cricket League

Twenty20 ends amidst chaos and mismangement

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 7th, 2006   (459 views)

Sialkot Stallions were crowned the new champions of the ABN-AMRO Twenty20 Cup National Cricket Championship, when they beat last season’s winners Faisalabad Wolves in the 2005-06 final rather comfortably by six wickets, here at the National Stadium under lights on the night between Saturday and Sunday.

In a match unfortunately marred by unruly crowd behaviour, some two hours of precious time was lost overall. When some order was restored, the Wolves players who were at the batting crease appeared visibly shaken up.

Rana Naveed got Man of the Match award and Rs. 20,000 for his three wickets in four overs and an unbeaten 40 in 26 balls.

Sialkot, who are also the reigning champions of Pakistan’s national (first-class) cricket title — having won the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship last December, had beaten the Faisalabad side in the final of that competition too. Yesterday, the picked up the Twenty20 trophy and the Rs 600,000 offered by ABN-AMRO Bank as prize money for the winners.

The Wolves team received Rs 300,000 as their reward for being the runners-up. Individual awards, all worth Rs 20,000 each, were handed over to leading players of the tournament: Shoaib Malik (Best Batsman), Irfanuddin (Karachi Dolphins, Best Bowler), Haafiz Khalid (Best Wicket-keeper) and Naved-ul-Hasan (Best Fielder).

Mismanagement and security lapses marked a dark spot on the Twenty20 Cup National Cricket Championship when the jam-packed final between Sialkot Stallions and Faisalabad Wolves here at the National Stadium late on Saturday was suspended for more than one and a half hours due to a crowd ruckus.

According to The News, It was really surprising to see only a few security personnel patrolling the stadium with most of them busy in the main building during the match which was almost bursting at the seams with over 30,000 cricket fans who came to watch the final under floodlights.

The ‘crowd trouble’ started when Faisalabad Wolves were at 132-4 in 15.2 overs when some violent elements started throwing bottles and stones inside the ground from two general enclosures resulting in the players leaving the field for one hour.

Karachi City Naib Nazim, Nasreen Jalil, who was the chief guest on the occasion, called upon the crowd to calm down, but her calls remained unheeded.

In the meantime, ‘miscreants’ remained busy in breaking gates and chairs of the general enclosures while around 50 of them were seen running and jumping on the roof of the stadium.

The situation did not only create problems inside the stadium but it also resulted in a traffic jam on Stadium Road and its thoroughfares.

Later, an additional contingent of police and Rangers reached the venue and brought the situation under control, so the trouble-hit final was decided at 2:35 am, almost 100 minutes ahead of schedule. A police official on duty at the stadium told PPI that Naved Latif of Faisalabad Wolves was also injured in the havoc when a stone thrown from the general enclosure hit him.

“In the presence of such a large crowd it was shocking to see only a meagre number of security personnel inside the stadium,” Anwar Ali, who came to watch the final along with his family, said when his picnic turned into panic.

Right from the beginning, crowd trouble was seen throughout the tournament whether at the UBL Sports Complex or at the NBP stadium but, in spite of this fact, it was very astonishing to see poor security arrangements by the administration for the final at NSK which has after a long time got some respect as a venue at the international level.

Ironically, even the sports reporters covering the event faced problems in discharging their professional duty when they were allegedly annoyed by cops in entering the stadium as there were no accreditation cards issued to the press by the tournament officials who said they had no budget left for ‘cards’ in a US$50,000 event.

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Technorati Tags: Sialkot, Twenty20, Faisalabad

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