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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Indians rally behind team after protests

February 18, 2003 17:59 IST

Cricket fans in India came out to support Sourav Ganguly and his team on Tuesday after two days of protests across the country over their poor start to the World Cup.

There was also support from politicians while police in various cities said they had stepped up security around the homes of players.

A day after an effigy of Ganguly was burnt on the streets of Calcutta, cricket fans in his home city released pigeons in a symbolic gesture of support for the Indian captain.

India, one of the pre-tournament favourites, scored just 204 runs in their opening victory over minor nation the Netherlands before losing by nine wickets to Australia on Saturday in South Africa.

"Pride of India, Pride of Bengal, we are with you Sourav," demonstrators chanted in Calcutta, holding up placards saying: "Tiger of Bengal, cheer up".

Pradip Prasad, the leader of the Tuesday's demonstration, said: "Stop it. That is our message to those who are burning the effigies of Ganguly, attacking Kaif's home and set fire to posters of other players."

The house of middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif in Allahabad had been smeared with black paint and oil on Sunday by fans angry at his poor form.

In Bombay, security has been tightened up at leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar's home after fans burnt pictures of him on Monday.

"At the moment we have increased patrolling in the area where Sachin lives," said joint commissioner of police Javed Ahmed. "We are taking every precaution."

In Bangalore, security has been stepped up at the houses of vice-captain Rahul Dravid, paceman Javagal Srinath and leg-spinner Anil Kumble as "precautionary measure", police said.


The team also found support in the country's Parliament.

"This team belongs to India. It is very unfortunate that Kaif's house was attacked," opposition lawmaker Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said.

Speaker of the house, Manohar Joshi, a former cricket administrator who travelled to Centurion to watch the India-Australia clash last week, said the country needed to be proud of its team.

"The government should ensure that they (players' homes) are given full protection," Joshi said. "The entire house sends its good wishes and this message will be conveyed to the team."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: support

It was too embarassing to see the way people responded to the loss against Australia.The team needs us when they dont do well and not ...

Posted by vani

Sub: What is this?

Blow Hot blow cold? India is home before the super six, and won't be surpised if something similar happens again hahaha. Can't help laugh at ...

Posted by ashley

Sub: Cheer up India ........... from indian Cricket fans

We have belief in you .......... our great Indians killers ............ go on ............ get the cup back ............. we all and our prayers are ...

Posted by Suraj

Sub: Irony

The irony is that nobody has been arrested in regards to this voilent behaviour. We just take them in strides and think it's okay. These ...

Posted by Kumar

Sub: Time to stand by the team

I stand by the team. Saurav and team, winning spree is going to start now...

Posted by Kiran


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