What's the story?
Rod Tucker, the Australian umpire, was agitated by the conduct of a drunk fan during the second Test between India and Sri Lanka. According to reports, a viewer was intoxicated and continued to disrupt Tucker's concentration with his comments.
The fan, who was later identified as SP Jayan, lost control while standing on the sidelines. He ceaselessly flung 'suggestions' at the Sri Lankan batsman, Kusal Mendis, who was struggling to score runs in the third session on Day 3.
Jayan wanted Mendis to play defensively and encouraged him to continue playing with a calm mind. "Play defensive, Mendis, don't lose your mind, keep focus and save your wicket for tomorrow. Yes! You can do it," he advised.
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The Islanders could score only 183 in the first innings in response to India's 622/9. The incident took place during the second innings, with Sri Lanka following on.
Tucker was visibly distracted by the comments from the onlooker in question. He tried to ignore the fan but the ceaseless tirade began to break his concentration which, in turn, hampered the game.
40-year-old Jayan was audible to almost everyone in the stadium. Tucker even kept his finger on his lips, gesturing him to keep quiet. However, the former paid no heed to the umpire. By this time, Jayan's antics had already started to attract the attention of the Indian team as well.
Security caught hold of Jayan and threatened to remove him from the stands which seemed to have a slight effect on him as he remained silent for a while. However, he soon resumed his troublesome commentary, not stopping until the day had ended.
With Sri Lanka forced to follow on, trailing by 439, Mendis picked up momentum in his batting and looked at ease against the Indian bowlers. He has already scored a half-century and will now aim at reducing the deficit by a considerable margin.
Fans often tend to lose control in the stadium but they are usually handled very firmly by the security officers. However, that did not seem to be the case in the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground. The Sri Lanka Cricket Board should look to tighten security around the ground because such deeds mess with the concentration of the players.
Moreover, fans should also understand and respect the boundaries that are meant to exist between the players and the viewers. No amount of passion or enthusiasm can justify such conduct.