Protesters hurl shoe on to the ground during CSK-KKR match at Chepauk
What's the story?
While Andre Russell's big-hitting dominated the headlines in the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, the political tension prevailing in the state of Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery water issue, reared its ugly head. A few protesters hurled shoes on to the ground while the match was in progress.
The shoes were flung into the ground from the 'F Upper' stand of the stadium by four members of a fringe political party named 'Naam Tamilar Katchi' during the eighth over of the KKR innings.
In case you didn't know...
The past few days have seen several Tamilian and Dravidian political groups demanding IPL matches to be moved out of Chennai until the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) is set up as per the directives of the honourable Supreme Court of India in its verdict on the Cauvery water-sharing issue.
There were reports that CSK's home matches could be moved out of Chennai because of the issue, but the IPL governing council has given the go-ahead for the matches amidst strong security presence in and outside the stadium.
The heart of the matter
Ahead of today's match, several protesters had gathered outside their stadium and at several places in the city to make their voice heard, including an instance of a CSK flag being burnt, forcing a heavy police deployment at the venue.
The protests and demonstrations meant that the players could only reach the venue later than planned forcing the toss to be delayed by nearly 15 minutes and only after the players could be ushered into the venue through the back gate at the Chepauk.
The heavy police deployment that the protesters were kept in check and the match started right on time with cricket rightly grabbing the headlines once the match began, at least until the eighth over of the KKR innings.
The protesters who hurled the shoes onto the ground near to Du Plessis were promptly whisked away by the security personnel at the venue and there was no further instance of any untoward incident being reported for the remainder of the match.
CSK were playing at Chepauk after a gap of 1065 days and the cricket loving public of Tamil Nadu's capital city was at their vociferous best on the matchday.
All of CSK's home matches are set to be played at the very same venue with the next match set to be played on April 20 against Rajasthan Royals.
While the protesters may have reasons to feel aggrieved, it is never nice to see instances such as the one we witnessed today at any sporting venue.
Luckily, it didn't stop the match proceedings and the players also escaped without getting hurt, but it could have led to something much more dangerous.
The guilty party was evicted timely but it is important that such an incident is not repeated in the future.