Dhoni sympathy for lathi-charged fans

Updated: Mar 08, 2011, 20:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday sympathised with the cricket fans who were lathi-charged in Nagpur during a mad rush for tickets for the high-profile India-South Africa World Cup clash but refused to blame the police for the incident.

"It is difficult to react when you are not at the exact place where the incident happens. But I think police must not be happy to do that. They must have taken the action when they felt it was needed," Dhoni told reporters ahead of India`s Group B match against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

"Police must have done that to avoid a stampede-like or a very bad situation. It is not ideal to always project the police as bad. But of course everybody feels bad when fans get beaten up," he added.

Police had to resort to lathicharge on fans at the old stadium of Vidarbha Cricket Association in Civil Lines locality in Nagpur following a melee to grab tickets for the World Cup match on March 12.

A large number of enthusiasts had gathered at the site since last night to purchase tickets of the India-South Africa match.

When counters for sale of tickets to the general public opened here, there was a mad rush and some fans even broke barriers to reach the counters, resulting in a melee, police said.

Security personnel, who were deployed in large numbers here anticipating trouble, used mild force to control the fans following which organisers closed the counters for some time and re-opened it later. A few people received minor injuries in the ruckus.

Sale of tickets, however, resumed thereafter.

PTI