Search This Blog

Saturday, September 4, 2021

pitch invasions ! interruptions on Cricket field

George Davis – was an armed robber,   in England. He became known through a successful campaign by friends and supporters to free him from prison after his wrongful conviction in March 1975, for an armed payroll robbery at the London Electricity Board (LEB) offices in Ilford, Greater London, in  1974 !! 

Chepauk stadium …  MA Chidambaram stadium to be precise -  We have seen so many first division matches, local tournaments, Buchibabu, Ranji, Duleep, Deodhar trophy matches and then Tests (Pongal Tests !) ..  Test No. 708 – India won by 4 wickets against England;  Test No. 752 ever remembered by that classy knock of Vishwanath; great bowling of Andy Roberts and the defeat (100 runs at that) suffered by Clive Lloyd against Pataudi led Indians in 1975; Test no. 841 Kalicharran led WI lost to Gavaskar captained India in 1979; Test no. 869 – grand Indian win against Pakistan in 1980 – Kapil Dev Man of the Match, SandipPatil made his debut;  Test no. 1089 Vivian Richards led WI lost badly (255 runs) to Ravi Shastri led Indians – Hirwant made dream debut taking 16 wickets – WV Raman and Ajay Sharma also made their debuts….                     ~ all Indian wins   the Pongal Tests !!!...............  the ground at Chepauk has been in existence from imperial days – the first ever test here was in 1933-34 when Douglas Jardine played CkNayudu led team.  Crowds have always come in large numbers  ~ it is not only the numbers – they are reputed to be most knowledgeable and appreciative.. but the high rise dividers, barbed fence would give a  different feeling.  In 1970s – remember that the stadium had double-layered fencing – separating the spectators from the playing arena.  Yet, when an Indian scores a century, a couple of people would scale the fence, get down, run, reach the player to congratulate them on their performance !!  Chepauk those days was spacious – the B & C stands had no chairs;  spectators used to carry bedsheets along squatting on the huge concrete steps much earlier before the game started.  The stadium had huge pillars, round in shape – so huge that perhaps it would require four persons holding hands to round them.  They were the  impediments too as they would hide the view on some angles from the place one sat. ..  

          Mohammed Shami is not  part of the fourth Test between India and England at The Oval but the India pacer gave the fans a huge reason to cheer as he celebrated his birthday with them on Day 4 (yesterday 3.9.2021). Shami, who missed playing the Test due to a niggle, was  seen walking on the side-lines when he came across a section of fans with a huge birthday cake in hand. After repeated requests, Shami obliged the crowd and ended up cutting the cake with them much to the delight of the fans. Shami's act is similar to an incident from 2019, when during a Test match against Sri Lanka, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson did the same. Williamson was fielding before he spotted a section of the Sri Lankan crowd with a cake in hand.

But Daniel Jarvis incident was different !!  .. ..  a  man has been arrested on suspicion of assault following an incident in which a spectator collided with Jonny Bairstow on the pitch at the Kia Oval. The incident occurred during the morning session on the second day of the fourth Test between England and India when a spectator dressed in whites ran on to the pitch and attempted to bowl a delivery at the England batter, Ollie Pope. In doing so, the spectator collided with the non-striking batter, Bairstow. The pair then appeared to exchange angry words before stewards removed him from the playing area.

The spectator is understood to be named Daniel Jarvis who also goes by the name Jarvo 69. He has 123,000 subscribers to his Youtube channel.  For the third time in the series, the fan entered the ground to halt play briefly on Day 2 at Oval.    Jarvo, who had earlier invaded the field twice in the ongoing Test series – at Lord's and Leeds – and was banned from Headingley Cricket Ground for life, intruded proceedings once again when he rushed on to the field in the 34th over of England’s first innings.  While it is understood that, on at least one previous occasion, the club involved simply ejected him from the ground, stewards at The Kia Oval held him until police arrived to make his arrest. His appearance was greeted, in general, by groans and boos from a full-house crowd who were enjoying an absorbing day's cricket.

Surrey are understood to be disappointed anyone was able to enter the playing area and are conducting a review into the incident. There may also be concern from the players and their representatives. In both the last two matches, Jarvis has been able to reach the pitch and make contact with the players. While there is no suggestion that his intentions were anything more than attention-seeking, others with far worse motivations may have noted the ease with which he was able to approach the players.  A statement from the Met Police read: "A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault following an incident at the Oval Cricket Ground on Friday, 3 September. He remains in custody at a south London police station."

On a serious note, Jarvo entering the ground repeatedly has once again raised questions on the ground security. Breaching the security, especially in the times of Covid-19 is an alarming matter, and given the fact that the same guy has managed to sneak past officials time and again is a matter of deep concern. Calling himself a fan and a prankster, Jarvo first invaded the field on Day 4 of the second Test at Lord's. He had walked onto the field sporting an Indian jersey with his name and number 69 on the back, leaving India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and pacer Mohammed Siraj in splits. In Headingly, after the dismissal of Rohit Sharma, Jarvo, who was seated in the gallery, decided to have a bat. With helmet and gloves on, Jarvo entered the field and picked up a bat someone from the crowd threw into the ground. 

On August 4, 1975, the fourth day s play at Lord s between England and Australia was held up for a while by a pioneering intruder, the feats of whom have been repeated often in future.  His name was  the same as the great Italian renaissance sculptor,   Michelangelo with minor variations. Michael Angelow streaked through Lord s like a short-lived meteor, but blazed a lasting trail on the Mecca of cricket. A navy cook, up to his tonsils in Australian Lager, and having wagered with bravado against his mates, Angelow sprinted into the hallowed cricket ground, dressed in nothing but his plimsolls and an XL sized smile.

Much worser, was the Headlingley incident in Aug 1975.  The fourth day's play of the third test  ended with the match balanced on a knife-edge. Australia, chasing a record 445 to beat England, and so retain the Ashes, had reached 220 for 3, with their opener Rick McCosker still there, within one hit of a maiden Test hundred.  Doug  Walters, and Ross Edwards of the mainline batsmen remaining. But the pitch was benign, and any one of three results were still possible. The last day - a Tuesday, in those days of rest days on a Sunday - dawned cloudy, but when George Cawthray, the groundsman, pushed back the covers, he was greeted with the sight of a pitch which had been vandalised. Several lumps of soil had been gouged out of the surface just short of a length at the Rugby Ground End.  As the players, officials, and keen early spectators arrived, the first signs that all was not well came when they were greeted by the sight of slogans daubed on Headingley's perimeter walls: "George Davis is innocent." Inside, the number of policemen and officials clustered round the pitch soon brought home the reality.Tony Greig and Ian Chappell, the two captains, inspected the pitch and agreed that it couldn't be used. The umpires briefly considered a suggestion that the adjacent strip could be mown, but with no guarantee that it would play as the one used for the first four days had - slow, low and with little turn - that idea was quickly dismissed.

.. .. running into the pitch those days was show of heroism or capturing public attention – now days are different – Security is a prime concern and unnecessary exposure to Covid 19 is another.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Sept. 2021


No comments:

Post a Comment