Cuttack, Jan 18: As Team India clash with England for the second one-day international (ODI) at Cuttack's Barabati Stadium on Thursday (January 19), even the spectators' patience and behaviour will be put to test along with the competing teams.
The unruly scenes of crowd's disgraceful behaviour, when India last played an international game here, would still be fresh in the minds of the administration, cricketers and fans, alike.
The agitated crowd, on October 5, 2015, brought shame to the city and to the 'Gentlemen's Game' when they stopped the play during 2nd Twenty20 International match between India and South Africa by their behaviour.
It was a full house (attendance - 44,790) as the stadium was hosting its first ever T20 international game.
But to crowd's disappointment, their favourite side failed to perform against a dominant South African side as India were bowled out for 92 runs in 17.2 overs.
Some fans in one of the stands got agitated with the Indian team and started hurling plastic bottles onto the ground, a sight displeasing to any cricket enthusiast, let alone cricketers.
To pacify the spectators, announcements were made by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA), but to no avail. Bottles were thrown again when the Proteas were batting, forcing the umpires to stop the match a couple of times more.
Finally, South Africa won the match by 6 wickets and also named the 3-match series. But, it was the crowd's ugly behaviour which garnered global attention for it tainted the image of Indian cricket.
The unruly scenes at the stadium were highlighted by international media too. Even former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on commentary, termed the incident as 'sad' which spoilt the name of Indian cricket.
Thus, crowd's patience and sportsman spirit would also be at test when Virat Kohli-led Indian side lock horns with Eoin Morgan and his men. Team India lead the three match ODI tournament 1-0 and would be hoping to win the game and claim series.
The city of Cuttack will be eager to improve its tainted image because a repetition of such an act may prove costly for the stadium apart from bringing shame to the country.