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Mike Atherton rates Eden Park crowd abuse as worst in the world

891   //    14 Jan 2016, 13:09 IST
The hostile New Zealand fans during a Twenty20 match

Mike Atherton, former England cricketer has called the Eden Park crowd as the world's worst. He termed the New Zealand ground as best when it comes to crowd abuse.

This statement came after the Eden Park security threw Sri Lankan fans out of the stadium for playing drums and the security are facing heavy accusations for the overreaction. The incident took place during a Twenty20 international match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Eden Park, Auckland.

The columnist told his readers that the ground in New Zealand was in his top three of most hostile venues, alongside Sabina Park in Jamaica (West Indies) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (Australia).

“The abuse I received in Eden Park was worse than anywhere else”- Atherton

Atherton said, "New Zealand is a gentle country, its people are lovely, but during a one-day international, Eden Park is transformed into a bear pit. Once, I found myself fielding down at third man and the abuse I received was worse than anywhere else (captains, of course, have the luxury of not fielding on the boundary, a benefit I availed myself of next time we visited). I also had a pint of something wet (dare not think what was in it) thrown at me."

Atherton played a couple of one-day games and a test at Eden Park during his playing days for England in 1990s.

He retired from international cricket in 2001 after playing 115 Test and 54 ODI’s for the Three Lions. After that he started concentrate on broadcasting and since then he had become one of the game's most respected broadcasters.

The 47 year old is not the first visiting cricket captain to turn the tables on New Zealand crowd. Many other visiting captains were also criticised the crowd of New Zealand. In a 2004 column, South African captain Graeme Smith described the Hamilton crowd as a "hillbilly city".

He wrote in his column, "The spectators appear marginally more rough and ready than at other venues and they clearly pride themselves on their turn of phrase." 

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