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5 Instances when fans fight among themselves for team support in stadium

Sep 14, 2023

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Two fans fighting during Delhi Capitals vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad match in IPL 2023. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The game of cricket is often called the gentleman’s game and it is not only the onus of players to maintain decorum on the field, but also on the fans who come into the ground to watch the match. There are fans from both sides watching the match and sitting together, but most of the time things remain cordial.

However, there are instances when fights have broken out between fans from opposite sights, and on many occasions, things got ugly as well with groups of fans going at one another.

Brawls breaking out between rival fans is an embarrassment not only to the countries involved but also to the legacy of the game. However, from a fan’s perspective, they show their unwavering support while being passionate and getting out of control at times which leads us to explore some instances where fans ended up in a brawl during the game.

Here are the 5 Instances when fans fight among themselves for team support in the stadium:

5. India and Sri Lanka fans clash during Asia Cup 2023 match in Colombo

The latest instance of fans fighting amongst themselves happened during the Asia Cup 2023 game between India and Sri Lanka, at the R Premadasa Stadium, in Colombo. India had defeated Sri Lanka by 41 runs in a low-scoring encounter.

Men in Blue had batted first and posted 213 runs with Rohit Sharma scoring 53.

Fans fight in the stadium after #INDvsSL game in #AsiaCup2023 #DunithWellalage #kuldeepyadav

— Rishabh Beniwal (@RishabhBeniwal) September 12, 2023

Besides, there were some vital contributions from Ishan Kishan (33), KL Rahul (39), and Axar Patel (26). Dunith Wellalage took 5/40 and Charith Asalanka took 4/18.

In reply, only Dhananjaya de Silva (41) and Dunith Wellalage (42*) stood up to the Indian bowlers, as Kuldeep Yadav’s four-wicket haul routed Sri Lanka for 172 runs. 

After the match, a few fans were seen fighting with one another in the stands of R Premadasa Stadium. A viral video showed a fan wearing a Sri Lankan jersey running towards another fan donning the India shirt and throwing punches at him.

The fight was broken up by a group of people who gave a warning to the two warring sides and told them to leave the ground.  

4. Fans fight in Colombo during Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka game in 2015

Fans fight in Colombo during Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka game in 2015. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Sri Lanka has been a hotbed for fan fights during international matches. Notably, a fan brawl erupted during an ODI match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo in 2015.

The incident happened during the 34th over of the innings when a brawl broke out between the south-eastern stand inside the stadium between fans.

They threw stones at one another. Not just that, things turned uglier when a stone landed in the field. As a result, the police had to evacuate people to bring things under control.

This led to the match being stopped for 30 minutes. However, the game restarted only after the match referee, Javagal Srinath, gave the go-ahead. In the end, the police had brought things under control which led to the smooth proceeding of the game further ahead. 

3. Fire and fights during India vs. West Indies ODI in 2002 in Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur

Fire and fights during India vs. West Indies ODI in 2002 in Keenaan Stadium, Jamshedpur. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India and West Indies clashed in the first game of the seven-ODI series played at the Keenan Stadium, in Jamshedpur, on November 6, 2002. India had won the toss and chose to bat first and posted 283/6. 

For India, Ajit Agarkar (95), VVS Laxman (47), and Rahul Dravid (46*) were the main run-getters.

While for the West Indies, Pedro Collins picked two wickets. In reply, Wavell Hinds (95), Marlon Samuels (51), and Ramnaresh Sarwan (83*) made a light meal of the 284-run target. Courtesy of their knocks, the visitors won the match by 4 wickets in the last over. 

With the West Indies needing just 12 runs to win the match, the crowd was instigated by the poor performance of the Indian team. This triggered a riot in the stands with fires being lit and bottles being thrown around inside the field as well by the furious crowd. 

Advertising boards around the Keenan Stadium were also ripped apart and umpires and players had to rush back to the dressing room.

2. Two fans have a WWE fight during the Delhi Capitals vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad match in IPL 2023 

The Delhi Capitals were in action against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in match 40 of the IPL 2023, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in Delhi. For the fourth time this season, Delhi lost a close game in front of their home crowd by nine runs.

Delhi suffered their sixth loss in their first eight games of the season with just four points overall.

Kalesh B/w Fans inside Stadium during #SRHvDC Match over blocking the View of other

— Ghar Ke Kalesh (@gharkekalesh) April 29, 2023

Consequently, they stayed at the bottom of the standings.

However, the action in the stands seemed more intense than the players involved in the game. A fight broke out between two groups of fans in the stadium.

Fans were seen kicking and punching each other. Moreover, they even shoved one person over the chairs. Notably, as the police guards were not around at that moment, this incident seemingly got the children and elders watching the game scared. However, it was later revealed that the fans were not happy with the overall performances of both sides throughout the season.

1. Afghanistan fans beat up Pakistani fans during Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah 

One of the ugliest scenes involving fans fighting amongst themselves came during the Asia Cup 2022 T20 tournament, played in the UAE. The match was played between Pakistan and Afghanistan and saw the Men in Green defeating the Atalans. Courtesy of Naseem Shah’s heroics, the hosts were able to edge out the neighbours by one wicket in the last-over thriller.

This is what Afghan fans are doing.
This is what they’ve done in the past multiple times.This is a game and its supposed to be played and taken in the right spirit.@ShafiqStanikzai your crowd & your players both need to learn a few things if you guys want to grow in the sport.

— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 7, 2022

Things had gotten ugly when Pakistan’s Asif Ali got into a heated altercation with Fareed Ahmed on the field. The scenes reminded many of the infamous Dennis Lillee-Javed Miandad exchange in a Test match between Australia and Pakistan, which happened back in 1983.

The tensions spilt over into the stands once Pakistan won the match.

This led to a riot with some fans from Afghanistan hurling chairs and fists at the fans from Pakistan in Sharjah stands. People were seen ducking for cover with chairs flying all over the stands.

Not only in the stadium, but the Pakistani fans had to save themselves outside the stadium as well as Afghani fans engaged in a brawl with them.  

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