5 occasions when cricket matches were called off due to violence

Modified 11 Jun 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

#1 India vs West Indies, Kolkata, 1966/67

Scenes from the infamous riot that broke at the Eden Gardens

Easily the deadliest instance of crowd violence in the history of cricket came during a Test between India and West Indies at the Eden Gardens in 1967. With the mighty West Indies having taken a 1-0 lead by winning the 1st Test, the two teams met once again in the 2nd Test at Kolkata.

The background story was that the ground officials had sold off a lot of duplicate tickets in the black market resulting in a larger attendance, greater than the 80,000-capacity of the Eden. The condition was such that the spectators were almost spilling over to the field of play.

Things did not get too awry on Day 1 of the Test however, it was a period of calm before the storm. On Day 2, the crowd seating situation was even worse and prompted security personnel to commit the cardinal sin of lathi-charging people.

That was the trigger for a massive sea of people making their way onto the field and engaging in a battle with the policemen, who were badly outnumbered, and a riot ensued. The crowd uprooted bamboo poles from the makeshift stand and set the canvas roof on fire.

The turn of events ensured that there was no play on Day 2 and the next day was scheduled as a rest day. After much persuasion, the West Indies team agreed to continue with the match and inflicted an innings defeat on India.

Published 10 Feb 2016
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