World Cup: Cricket fans in Nagpur lathicharged

Last Updated: Mar 08, 2011, 11:29 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Nagpur: Cricket fans who had queued up to buy tickets for the World Cup match between India and South Africa were lathicharged outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium.

The incident happened when the crowd tried to break the designated queue.

The match is scheduled for March 12 and similar instances of crowds being lathicharged have occurred in Bangalore earlier on February 24 due to the heavy demand of tickets.

However, Bangalore`s police commissioner defended the baton attacks on cricket fans angry that they could not buy World Cup tickets, explaining his action was part of life in India.

"(The police action was) to prevent greater injury, not to cause a small injury. People were falling over each other and there was a likelihood of stampede, therefore our people intervened. There is nothing serious," Shankar Bidari, commissioner of police, said at the stadium.

"It is not a new thing."Security has been a major concern for the tournament which is being jointly staged by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The often volatile region was rocked in 2009 when gunmen in Lahore attacked a Sri Lanka cricket team bus, killing eight people. Several players were also injured.

Since then Pakistan, who were to have been joint hosts of this World Cup, have not staged an international match.