Eden Park Security throws out Sri Lankan fans in Twenty20 match against New Zealand
The Twenty20 match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand saw attention being drawn away from the field of play and into the stands. The Eden Park security are facing heavy accusations of overreaction after they threw Sri Lankan fans out of the stadium for playing drums.
Early in the beginning of the first innings between the two teams, the Eden Park security were seen removing drums possessed by the Sri Lankan fans.
Fans in cricket have been known to get loud with drums and chants. The Barmy Army has made a number of their chants famous. In this match though the security relieved the visitors of their drums, and in some cases evicted the fans from the stadium.
Some fans claimed that the security were way more aggressive than needed. They accused the security of roughing them up. The Police communications staff maintained that they had no information about the incident.
One Sri Lankan fan who remained in the stadium said "We just go to enjoy the atmosphere and experience, which means bringing in drums and trumpets to dance and sing. It's like a fiesta. For most of the guys forking out $30 [for tickets] is a big deal so they spend that money thinking they'll get the Sri Lanka-type experience. A number of drums were confiscated outside and security said we couldn't play music in the stadium.”
Another fan named Dissenayake said "Th”y told us we were too drunk to watch and said we brought alcohol in. We had Coke with us but only because we had dry mouths. We drank it without any spirits. They took us out because they said there was alcohol in the bottles. They can't prove it. It's so unfair. They also said we were too noisy.”
“We just came to sing a few songs. They took away a snare drum from our kit, then collected all our bere [a Sri Lanka trumpet]. That's no use, we brought them here to have fun, bro. I'm not going to harm or disturb anyone. What's wrong with that? This is the first chance I've had to watch this series. I work six days a week in a restaurant with Mondays off, so I had to take an extra day."
A spectator who wished to remain anonymous said that some guards were hanging around six evicted fans. "They seem loud but well behaved and self contained," he said. "I don't blame the individual guards, they're obviously just following inflexible rules that are supposedly about safety, but they just serve to make Eden Park a dull, fun-free zone.”
There may have been an isolated incident involving over aggressive fans which prompted the security to resort to removal of fans. Regardless, it left the visiting fans with a sour taste.
Another spectator, Hayden Eastmond-Mein, felt that the actions of the security team were unwarranted "I saw security guards confiscating a number of small drums from Sri Lankan fans," he said. "It seemed really heavy handed and over the top. The big group of Sri Lankans they were targeting were just having a good time and providing most of the atmosphere in what can be a pretty dull stadium.”
In an ironical twist, the half time entertainment consisted of a group of Samba drummers who walked right past the Sri Lankan fans.