Ex-skippers rebuke rowdy Mumbai crowd

Updated on Mar 20, 2006 10:38 PM IST

Vengsarkar and Wadekar castigated the crowd for their abusive behaviour, with the former insisting on having them thrown out.

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None | ByQaiser Mohammad Ali (IANS), Mumbai

Ex-India captains Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Wadekar have castigated the Mumbai crowd for their rowdy and abusive behaviour, with the former having a few such people thrown out of the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

"I asked the security people to throw out those persons when Ian Bell (of England) got out (in the second innings)," Vengsarkar told.

"They were standing right behind me and booing Bell. I had them thrown out," a visibly upset Vengsarkar said.

This happened a day after local hero Sachin Tendulkar was booed and jeered by a section of the crowd sitting on the tier just above the Indian team's dressing room after the maestro had got out for a solitary run.

On the opposite side of the dressing room, a section of the crowd in the North Stand was abusing English players with some unprintable slogans.

Vengsarkar, Wadekar and former Test player Sudhir Naik, all of whom live here and know Mumbai crowds well, said that it was a shameful act and has brought the commercial capital of India into disrepute.

"It is very shameful and, to be honest, it is bringing a bad name to Mumbai. It's a rare and recent phenomenon," said Vengsarkar.

"I have observed that for the last five-six years the crowds have become like this (abusive and rowdy). Mumbai crowds have always been known for their appreciation of good cricket, but the trend seems to be changing now," he pointed out.

Wadekar termed it disgraceful and said such kind of people should not be allowed inside the stadium.

"It's terrible. They don't deserve to watch the game," he said.

Tendulkar was booed Sunday when he returned to the dressing room after being caught by wicketkeeper Geraint Jones while chasing a wide delivery from James Anderson.

Ironically, Tendulkar is playing his 132nd Test that has made him the most capped Indian Test player, surpassing Kapil Dev's record.

Although it is not known how Tendulkar had felt being booed by his home crowd, Wadekar said the master batsman would have taken it as part of the game.

"Sachin would take all this in his stride, I guess. Even when Don Bradman got out for nought in his last Test innings, everyone stood up and clapped at the Oval (in London)," he said as an example.

"Perhaps, we all expect too much from him every time he bats. He is not a machine; he's a living legend. But people have short memory," said the left-handed batsman of yesteryears.

Naik, who is the chief curator at the Wankhede Stadium, said the crowds were bringing the Indian culture a bad name.

"Perhaps, the organisers can ask the people to throw out those who make those nasty comments," he suggested. "But I guess the police would also show their helplessness, saying that how many people could they punish."

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