Sri Lanka Cricket officials were forced to line up several high profile meetings after the ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft had asked for assurance that there would be no more crowd trouble and to ensure players’ safety. The direction had come after trouble during the third ODI between Sri Lanka and India at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium with India eight runs short of victory. The fans from the grass banks started hurling objects and play was stopped for over half an hour.
It was the first time in the history the crowd had become unruly in Sri Lanka after a series of poor performances. Sri Lanka were whitewashed 3-0 in Tests, all inside four days and then lost three ODIs in a row to suffer another series defeat.
“We have lined up a few meetings. There are few internal meetings and then we will meet the security officials to discuss what needs to be done,” an SLC official told Cricbuzz.
“There are security plans that we have and we will share it with security officials. We will also take measure to educate the public and we are hopeful that things will not get out of hand in Colombo.”
Sunday’s third ODI, won by India by six wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead, was witnessed by a sellout crowd of 21,000 people. Play had to be suspended for 32 minutes as the fans turned unruly with a Sri Lankan defeat imminent. Riot police had to be deployed and a section of the venue was completely evacuated before the game resumed.
SLC said there will be policemen in informal clothing deployed in Colombo to identify trouble makers along with other security measures. There are three more games left in the bilateral series.
The last two ODIs and the one off Twenty20 International will all be played at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.