Sunday, June 13, 2021
Home Sports Cricket Flashback: When Pakistani cricket fans invaded the pitch and beat up a steward because...

Flashback: When Pakistani cricket fans invaded the pitch and beat up a steward because they thought Pakistan won

The Great Pakistani fan invasion of 2001 during the NatWest series in England.

Cricket, which was once limited to British aristocrats and the elites, has evolved to become one of the most popular game in the Indian subcontinent. It is a common sight to see cricket fans in Southeast Asia to remain glued to their TV for hours in anticipation of what is to come.

While it is not unusual for ‘passionate’ and over-enthusiastic cricket lovers to get into heated arguments over a game or engage in unruly behaviour in the stands, it is seldom that we witness fanatic mobs go berserk, disrupt a match and rough up authorities. One such disgraceful event took place on June 17, 2001, during the NatWest series between Pakistan and England.

The match was being played at Headingley in Leeds. England’s batting line-up was ripped apart by the legendary Pakistani bowler Waqar Younis, who managed to get 7 wickets while conceding just 36 runs in 10 overs. A superlative bowling attack by the Pakistani side ensured that England was wrapped up at a paltry score of 156 in 45.2 overs. With 157 runs to win the game, the Pakistani cricket team was all set to clinch the match.

Screengrab of the scorecard (Photo Credits: ESPN Cricinfo)

With a stellar batting performance of all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, the match was in Pakistani’s court. The team has managed to put 153 runs on the scoreboard in just 39.5 overs. Azhar Mahmood and Younis Khan were on the crease and set to score the winning runs.

Pakistani cricket fans invade the pitch

And then something unexpected happened. Hordes of unruly Pakistanis jumped over the fence, shoved the ground staff on the way and invaded the pitch, prompting the English cricketers to run to safety. While they weren’t satisfied with disrupting the match, the mob roughed up a ground steward (whose responsibility is to ensure that fans abide by the rules) and inflicted grave injuries during the stampede. And the next thing that the Pakistanis did was fight amongst themselves for the possession of stumps.

“A massive pitch invasion as Azhar flicks one down to long leg for 4 or 6 not sure what was called Pakistan still need runs to win this game…one of the stewards has been injured in the celebratory invasion…,” a commentator noted. The actions of the Pakistani cricket fans, reminiscent of ignorance, was thus out for the world to see.

(Video Courtesy: Youtube/robelinda2)

How the authorities can let this happen?… They are all over the pitch. They are all over the square. This is absurd… This is complete nonsense. It can (compromise) safety of players and spectators,” he added. Hinting at their poor comprehension skills, the commentator remarked, “It’s 2 to win. That’s all. Surely these people (Pakistanis) can read scoreboards.”

Aftermath of the pitch invasion

Since the England captain Alec Stewart decided to not return to the pitch, keeping in mind the safety of the players, the match was conceded to the Pakistani team. An article by sports writer Ralph Dellor, detailing the events of the day, read, “Such was the scale of the pitch invasion, and with a steward lying near the wicket with internal and head injuries, the game had to be regarded as finished.”

He further added, “Rather than going out again when the pitch was eventually cleared, Stewart decided that England would accept the inevitable and so the unique entry in the record books: England conceded the match.” Alec Stewart had demanded strict measures from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ensure that such events are not repeated in future.

“The warnings must be heeded before an unfortunate incident becomes a major tragedy. That is not a question of “if” but “when”. The effects that would have on cricket and the social structure of the country do not bear thinking about,” Dellor concluded.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

How a ‘liberal’ filmmaker went from criticising Rahul Gandhi to saying ‘I am on your side’ and what it shows

Congress and their loyalists are still not able to get over the shock of not only losing 2019 elections, but BJP outperforming them and itself from the previous term.

Karnataka: Ibrahim steals cow from his Hindu neighbour’s house, slaughters and sells the meat at local market

Ibrahim slaughtered the animal in his house and then went ahead and even sold the slaughtered meat at a local market.

Three women accused of forcefully converting Dalit girl to Islam, video of her reading namaz sent to father: Report

The man who allegedly kidnapped the girl has threatened the father to forget his daughter and said that he is ready to compensate him with 40-50 thousand rupees.

Kerala Minister extends support to sedition accused model Aisha Sultana, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan would help her fight Centre

Coming out in support of Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana, Kerala Minister Sivankutty said the actor-turned-model need not worry about the case as she has Kerala government's support.

Shiv Sena leader demands a flyover in Mumbai be renamed after Moinuddin Chishti, who credited himself for capturing Prithviraj Chauhan

The leader of the so-called Hindutva party stated that the Muslim community’s demand must be respected and the flyover be renamed at the earliest.

Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint, Indian Express, others spread lies about Aisha Sultana’s ‘bio weapon’ comment. Details

How mainstream media is helping Aisha Sultana get away with accusing Indian government of using COVID as a bioweapon against the people of Lakshadweep.

Recently Popular

Leaked Clubhouse chats: Here is what senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh promised to a Pakistan-origin journalist about Kashmir

During conversation with a Pakistani-origin journalist on Clubhouse app, Congress leader Digvijay Singh promised to reinstate Article 370

‘Decline is on’: Pakistanis furious after Saudi Arabia eases ‘guardianship rules’ for women

Saudi Arabia has allowed single, widowed, and divorced women to stay independently without the prior approval of male guardian

India not to allow return of four Kerala-based women who had joined Islamic State, at least 3 of them are converts: Details

Indian Govt is unlikely to allow four women from Kerala who had left to join Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP).

‘Scientists were threatened Anthony Fauci and his gang will destroy careers and reputation’: Indian experts make explosive claims after emails become public

Anthony Fauci has found himself in the eye of the storm after thousands of his emails were revealed to the world.

Honour killing of Pakistani girl in Italy: Victim’s cousin arrested in France, parents who fled to Pakistan and two other missing accused wanted by...

Ikram Ijaz, one of victim Saman Abbas’ cousins, was arrested in Nimes in France and was later handed over to Italy

TV actor Sushant Singh’s troll account suspended by Twitter, restored later

Team Saath Official was the go-to Twitter account for left-liberals and rabid Islamists to silence nationalist voices in the country.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us