What a shame

With due respects to Kolkata’s sporting passion, this great city has almost become synonymous with chaos and violence which often mar big sporting events.

Yesterday’s felicitation of the 2012 Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders is yet another example which will get into the pages of cricket history books.

Sure, the function could have been organised better, but there must be some consideration for the time factor. After all, the final ended late on Sunday night.

Hero-worship is one thing, being foolhardy and inviting the attraction of the forces is another. And that’s what some over-enthusiastic fans are guilty of.

The Eden Gardens is packed to the rafters for most international matches, but the spectators have often sullied the image of this iconic cricketing venue.

Who can forget the drama that unfolded when India were slumping to defeat in the 1996 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka? The game had to be awarded to the islanders by match referee Clive Lloyd as Vinod Kambli made his way back to the dressing room with tears in his eyes.

The India vs Pakistan World Test Championship game in 1999 was reduced to a farce when Pakistan worked their way to victory in front of empty stands because of crowd trouble the previous day when Sachin Tendulkar was declared run out in controversial circumstances.

Violence during the 1966-67 India vs West Indies and the 1969-70 India vs Australia Tests too left a bad taste in the mouth. The Australian captain Bill Lawry was accused of manhandling a photographer, but why was the lensman on the playing arena in the first place?

In a land known the world over for its delicious sweets, cricket fans there must display their sweeter side.

The Eden Gardens will still remain India’s greatest cricketing theatre. It doesn’t deserve to be abused anymore. 

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