Fans have tarnished Bangladesh`s image: PM Hasina

Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladeshi fans had "tarnished the image of the nation" as she condemned the stone-throwing incident at the West Indies team bus.

Bangladesh supporters in Dhaka reacted with fury on Friday after the co-hosts were skittled for 58 before slumping to a nine-wicket defeat by West Indies in a World Cup Group B match.

As West Indies made their way back to the hotel in the team bus, stones were thrown by angry bystanders who thought the coach was carrying the home side.

"They (unruly fans) have tarnished the image of the nation and none should be allowed to do anything that will lower our image. I deeply regret the incident," Hasina told a meeting of her party on Monday.

"We must accept the match results without any controversy or bickering. The unruly fans have brought shame on us."

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal also called on fans to cool their passions and be patient if the team do not meet their sky-high expectations.

"I request the fans not to do any silly things," Tamim told reporters in Chittagong on Monday.

So far Bangladesh have won one of their three games. They lost by 87 runs to co-hosts India, beat Ireland before going down to West Indies.

"We will win some days and lose some days as that is cricket and they need to support us through good times as well as bad times," said the left-hander.

The fans booed the Bangladesh team at the ground and threw their shoes on to the road in front of their bus on their return to the team hotel, a huge insult in the country.

The attack on the West Indies team bus was taken very seriously by Bangladesh security forces and politicians, leading to the tightening of safety measures including the introduction of armoured personnel carriers to accompany team buses.

Bangladesh`s elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested at least 28 in connection with the stoning of the bus, though local media said all of them were released on bail.

Police said they also detained a fan in Chittagong on Sunday for showing his thumbs to Bangladesh players, again a big insult in the country.

"He (the fan) realised his mistake and was also repentant. We released him following a request by the players," Deputy Police Commissioner of Chittagong told reporters.

Vice-captain Tamim hoped a good show against England in their next match on Friday would change the perception of fans about the Bangladesh team.

"I am sure one good game will change the total scenario and you will see a different Bangladesh team," he said.

Bureau Report

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