India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Arjuna Ranatunga asks local fans not to behave like 'Indian spectators', claims report

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga however, advised fans not to behave like "Indian spectators" while reacting to the crowd trouble caused during the third ODI at Pallekele.

FirstCricket Staff, August 29, 2017

The third One-Day International between Sri Lanka and India at the Pallekele International Stadium will be widely remembered for a variety of reasons.

The hosts suffered yet another loss from a position of advantage, with the Indians clinching the series as a result. Rohit Sharma put up a dazzling display with the bat notch his 12th ODI century.

However, what the match will mainly be remembered for spectators at Pallekele losing their cool over their team's poor performance, resorting to throwing empty bottles and other rubbish onto the ground. The incident held play up as authorities had to resort to mass evacuation at the venue before play could resume, and will now be perceived as a blot in the history of Sri Lankan cricket.

File photo of Arjuna Ranatunga. Reuters

File photo of Arjuna Ranatunga. Reuters

Former Sri Lankan captain and cabinet minister Arjuna Ranatunga advised fans not to behave like "Indian spectators" while reacting to the incident, according to Sri Lankan English newspaper Daily Mirror

"I request our cricket lovers not to behave like Indian spectators. We have a very good history and culture. Such misbehaviour is not accepted in our culture and history," said Ranatunga according to the report.

“Such incidents should not be repeated. Sri Lankans love cricket and they feel sad when we lose a match. We have made lots of sacrifices for cricket and those sacrifices had been made while losing lots of things. Every cricketer in our team is mentally depressed,” he added.

Interestingly, Ranatunga was captain of the Sri Lankan team that dismantled India in the 1996 World Cup semi-final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, with the latter getting crumbling to 120/8 while chasing 252 to win before frenzied fans at the venue disrupted the match by throwing bottles, and setting newspapers on fire in the stands. The match was then awarded to the Sri Lankans, who would go on to defeat Australia by seven wickets in the final.

Eden Gardens witnessed similar trouble in the 1999 Test between India and Pakistan, with the remainder of the match having to be played behind closed doors.

In another incident, spectators at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack caused similar trouble during a T20I between India and South Africa in 2016, with the MS Dhoni-led side getting shot out for a lowly 92 before suffering a six-wicket defeat.

Updated Date: Aug 29, 2017

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