MCG one-day matches under threat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

MCG one-day matches under threat

By Adam Cooper and Brent Read 12/12/2002 06:16:44 AM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is rated as one of the world's worst three venues for crowd trouble and this shameful standing has jeopardised future one-day matches there.

But Shane Warne, the MCG's favourite son, believes the Melbourne crowd supports Australia with gusto and is far from the world's worst.

Australian Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive James Sutherland said the MCG was rated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as one of the worst three for interruptions in play, trespassing and poor crowd behaviour.

The ACB, police and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) have urged fans to behave at Sunday's tri-series match between Australia and England after more than 30 fans were arrested and almost 500 ejected from matches there last summer.

But Warne, who in 1999 walked onto the arena in thongs and shorts to urge fans to stop pelting English fielders with missiles, said the MCG masses would be fine.

"I don't think the Victorian crowds are the worst in the world, definitely not," Warne said.

"I think the Victorian crowd and the MCG crowd are absolutely sensational. I think they get right behind Australia.

"I think there's one or two people all over the world, let alone in Melbourne, who take it over the top but as far as we're concerned we just want to worry about playing cricket on the field and hopefully the spectators come to watch some entertaining cricket."

The latest plea for good behaviour comes as the ICC considers banning troublesome grounds from hosting one-dayers.

"It's pretty clear from the International Cricket Council's point of view that the MCG is in the worst three grounds in the world for crowd behaviour based on the record in the last few years," Sutherland said.

"There is no doubt that the ICC have taken a much stronger view of poor crowd behaviour and they will shortly be introducing the powers to ban grounds where they don't meet the standards or they have a record that has been inferior to the required standards in the past."

Hooligans will be on notice on Sunday with an increased police presence earlier than on previous match-days.

Patrons can expect thorough bag searches, tougher alcohol restrictions and more dry areas and automatic ejection for throwing missiles.

Warne said the MCG's size meant there was a greater chance of misbehaviour, but he was confident of a good show on Sunday.

"I am sure they will be fine," he said.

"One or two occasions, you look around the world, the West Indies have (people) running on the field.

"In Australia, one or two people in the crowd, hopefully they don't spoil it for everyone."

Cricket Victoria chief executive Ken Jacobs said stripping Melbourne of its one-day internationals would have a disastrous affect on cricket's grassroots.

"To lose the revenue streams obviously would have a big impact on the game," Jacobs said.

Sutherland said the ICC's list of troublesome grounds also included two in India, where the recent India-West Indies series was marred by missile-throwing, with one match in Rajkot abandoned after West Indian fielders were pelted with plastic water bottles.

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