Thrill to chill
The mood of the West Indies cricket team changed dramatically in the space of a couple hours yesterday at the Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh.
Celebrating their finest hour one minute, the players and team officials were then scared for their lives moments later when angry Bangladeshi fans, mistaking the Windies bus to be the one carrying the Bangladesh team, pelted the vehicle with stones.
The angry fans had just watched their team, playing at home in the city of Mirpur, record one of the worst performances of a Cricket World Cup, being skittled out for just 58 by a rampant West Indies team, led by two Barbadians, spinner Sulieman Benn, and pacer Kemar Roach.
Windies media manager Philip Spooner said there were no injuries. Spooner confirmed that two windows had cracked, but none shattered, and hence no stone got inside the bus.
“We left the ground and on our way back to the hotel, a couple of stones did hit our window,” Spooner said. “We are now back at the hotel. Both teams are back at the hotel and are safe,” he had told website CricInfo after the attack.
But the players, who were forced to lie on the bus floor during the attack, were obviously shaken.
Former captain Chris Gayle, who also made the victory target of 59 look easy, with a comfortable 37 not out, was not amused. ‘This is some b……..t,” Gayle tweeted moments after the incident. “Bangladesh stoning our bus! Freaking glass break!!! Can’t believe this. What next? Bullets?”
The incident occurred after West Indies completed a crushing nine-wicket victory over the hosts in a match that lasted 31.1 overs.
The discontent among the crowd could be seen when they started throwing the placards marked “4” and “6” on to the field the moment Bangladesh lost their last wicket to be bowled out for their lowest-ever One-Day total.
A Bangladesh police official said the fans had mistaken the West Indies bus for the Bangladesh bus. “The fans thought it was the Bangladeshi team bus and they hurled stones at it,” Dhaka Deputy Commissioner of Police Imtiaz Ahmed said.
Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, apologised for the incident, but insisted that there was enough security in place.
“We are sorry about the incident. This is the first time it is happening here,” he said. “Now we will take extra care. Much more security measures will be taken care of.”
Kamal said the stones did not come from inside the cordoned-off area, but from far away from the main road.
“Enough and adequate security measures were in place,” he said. “. . . There were enough convoys. There were three buses: one was a dummy bus and the two others were the team buses. The entire route was cordoned off by the police.
“Four or five stones came at one go from maybe five or six people standing far away from the main road. . . . That’s why the glass was not shattered. The matter is being investigated. Definitely, they will be able to catch the guys,” he said.Kamal was at the team hotel to meet both sets of players.