5 occasions when cricket matches were called off due to violence
Perhaps one of the worst reasons for play to get disrupted during a cricket match is crowd violence. There has been a number of times when there was trouble on the cricket field due to a riot initiated by the crowd.While such incidents generally tend to happen when the home side is in a losing position, there have been cases where issues with the ground authorities or infighting among the crowd triggered a riot. Whatever the cause, these incidents left an indelible mark on the history of cricket.Let’s look back at some infamous instances of crowd violence which forced a match to be either abandoned or halted for a long time.
#5 Australia vs West Indies, Kingston, 1978
One of the most notorious instances of crowd violence disrupting a cricket match came about in the 5th Test of the 1978 Frank Worrell Trophy involving West Indies and Australia at the Sabina Park in Kingston. The West Indians were already leading the series 3-1 after the first four Tests of the series.
Australia played some excellent cricket throughout the Test with both bat and ball and had the opportunity to end the series on a high at 3-2. They had set the home side a target of 369 to win the Test and were on the verge of victory with West Indies on 258 for 9.
The ninth batsman to get out was Vanburn Holder, caught behind off Jim Higgs. Although the decision was a correct one and Holder was only disgusted with himself as he hit his gloves against his hip, the crowd completely misjudged his action and thought that it was a wrong decision.
What followed was a barrage of stones, bottles, chairs and other material being pelted on to the ground by the spectators. The atmosphere turned so violent that the Australian players had to be rushed to safety.
The match was declared as a draw and Australia missed out on a victory by a whisker due to the crowd’s misdeeds.