Fans play an integral role in the growth of any sport and are considered the backbone of a sport. In cricket, they are usually considered as the 12th man. Their constant support and cheering plays a major role in the success of a team.
One of the main reasons why a cricket team has an advantage at their home ground is because of the support they receive from their fans. The reason why teams are able to make a particular ground their “fortress” are mainly due to their die-hard and loyal fans who continually support the team in any given situation.
There are times when fans tend to go a bit overboard while expressing their love and support for a particular player or team. While there are a few players who take it sportingly and respond back to these fans, there are times when the security gets involved.
Here are 5 instances when cricketers were involved with fans during a match
#5 When MS Dhoni blushed
We all know that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most humble cricketers around. But what many people do not know is that he is quite shy as well. During a match between India and Sri Lanka, the camera pointed towards a group of girls who were holding up a note which said, “I love you Dhoni,” he could not help but cover his face with his hands in embarrassment as he began to blush.
More recently as well, Dhoni encountered a similar situation when a fan shouted saying “I love you” to him during a press conference about his biopic MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Once again, Dhoni just laughed it off and did not have much to say.
#4 When Zaheer Khan responded in perfect fashion
Unlike his counterpart and captain MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan was not one to shy away from such a situation. When the moment presented itself, Zaheer Khan had the perfect response, much to everybody’s delight.
This special moment took place in the third and final Test match of the 2005 TVS Cup Test Series. One of the female fans in Bangalore held a banner saying, “Zaheer I Love You”, which was picked up by the cameramen. As soon as it was shown on the big screen, the crowd began cheering the lady.
As the cameraman turned the focus to Zaheer, he was spotted laughing with his teammates. The cameraman did not stop there as he turned the camera back to the fan who blew a kiss to Zaheer. As the camera turned back to him, much to the surprise and amusement of the fans, he blew a kiss back to the fan.
#3 When Sachin Tendulkar got kissed by a fan
The God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar did not long to make himself a crowd favourite. Just a few years after making his debut for India, he encountered a bizarre yet funny moment on the cricket field while batting.
In a match against New Zealand way back in 1994, an Indian fan came running onto the field to kiss Sachin Tendulkar, and he was quite successful in doing it, too. This was the first time that Tendulkar was opening an innings. He went on to score a quickfire 82 off 49 deliveries and by doing so, made that position his own.
Sachin did not really react to the kiss on his cheek, and the fan was immediately rushed out of the ground by security.
#2 When Andrew Symonds helped out the security
Over the years, there have been a lot of streakers make their way across the field of play in various sports. Football, Tennis and Cricket have been at the receiving end of these unfortunate incidents.
Andrew Symonds has always found himself in sticky situations or controversies during his career. During the 2nd final of the triangular series between India and Australia at the Gabba in 2008, there was an unfortunate yet funny incident which took place during the 2nd innings of the match.
As S Sreesanth ran in to bowl to Mathew Hayden, he had to stop in his run up as a streaker made his way across the field followed by numerous security officers. The streaker was too quick for the security personnel as they were not able to catch him. Andrew Symonds then came into the picture as he knocked the streaker down on the ground by pushing him with his shoulder.
#1 When Mashrafe Mortaza showed why he is loved by everyone
This incident took place during the 3rd ODI of the recently concluded series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Afghanistan required 280 to win the final ODI, but were struggling at 102-7 in 28 overs. As the 29th over commenced, a fan escaped security and made his way to the ground towards the Bangladesh captain.
At first, Mortaza tried to escape the invader, but as soon as he realised that that the person is his fan, the Bangladesh skipper shook his hands and embraced him.He even prevented the security personnel from grabbing the fan by his collar and taking him out. He was kind enough to walk the spectator till the boundary ropes and instructed the security to not harm the fan.
As the security whisked him away, Mortaza gestured the security to deal with the situation calmly.