Former captain Sunil Gavaskar was left fuming after a fan on Saturday, October 12, broke the security cordon and entered the playing field during India's ongoing second Test against South Africa at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium here. A fan dodged the stadium security and came close to Rohit Sharma, who was standing at the slips on the third day of the match. He touched Rohit's feet before the security staff intervened and escorted him out of the ground.
The incident infuriated cricketer-turned-commentator Gavaskar, who called for accountability from ground security staff.
"These incidents happen because security people are not watching the crowd but are watching the match. This has been the perennial problem in India," said Gavaskar, who is a part of the commentary panel.
"The security is not there to watch the match for free. They are there to stop such interruptions from happening." Gavaskar said such incidents are major security risks for players. "I say put the camera on the security and check whether they are watching the match or the crowd.
"This is a dangerous security issue which is what you are there for, to make sure no one goes into the ground. Anyone can cause damage to a player. It has happened in the past, why take a chance," he said.
Saturday's incident is the third such security breach that happened in the ongoing South Africa's tour of India. In the first Test at Vishakhapatnam, a fan entered the ground and shook India skipper Virat Kohli's hand and also tried to take a selfie. Earlier during the second T20I between the two teams in Mohali, the match was interrupted twice as fans entered the field of play.
Indian bowlers were on the top of their game as they managed to reduce the visitors to half their side before lunch on Day three. With Umesh Yadav and Shami picking up three scalps before closing the play on Day Three, India managed to get nightwatchman Anrich Nortje dismissed early in the first session on Day four. Quinton de Kock and Faf Du Plessis attempted to steady the innings for South Africa but failed to do, as de Kock was dismissed for 31 runs while Faf Du Plessis was dismissed after a gritty 64-run knock. Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander played the patience game to frustrate the Indian bowlers but it was Ashwin who had the last laugh as he wrapped up the Proteas batting in the final over of Day three and bundling out the visitors for 275. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up four scalps and conceded 69 runs while Umesh Yadav picked up three scalps for just 37 runs in 13 overs. Ravindra Jadeja added one wicket to his tally while pacer Mohammad Shami added two to his. It was quite evident that skipper Virat Kohli was using the spinners more than the pacers as the former were given 64 overs as opposed to the latter's 40 overs. India now have a massive 326-run lead.
(With PTI Inputs)