The 2017 Ranji season has kickstarted with the teams currently playing the group stage matches. Recently, a weird incident took place during the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh (UP) Group A Ranji clash at the Air Force Sports Complex in Palam after which game was halted for a while. A man reportedly drove his car into the ground. Later the umpires had to take a half hour extension to make up for the over-rate.
As reported by the leading cricket website, ESPN Cricinfo, the man has been identified as Girish Sharma. The incident happened at 4:40 pm in the evening while the day’s game was about to end. Sharma claimed that he didn’t find security in the way and lost his way. However, it seemed that the act was deliberate that he continued driving his four-wheeler vehicle over the pitch twice despite being stopped by the players and umpires.
After the entire episode, the ground was cleared and the match referee inspected the pitch after which he declared the track ‘playable’. It has also been learned from the report that the final day’s game will begin at its scheduled time i.e. 9.15am.
While speaking to another sports website, young cricketer Rishabh Pant stated that the players on the ground were in a complete shock that what was happening. He said,
“There was nothing we could do. The car just entered the stadium and the driver rolled it all across the ground. He also rolled over the pitch a few times.”
Since the Feroz Shah Kotla ground was occupied for the first India-New Zealand Twenty20 International on Wednesday and no other venues were available, the match was organised at Palam stadium.
International players like Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma and Rishabh Pant were present in the stadium when the incident happened. Ishant and Gambhir could also be spotted standing nearby the car.
Suresh Raina-led UP team were batting during the incident on a score of 224/7. They were ahead by 246 runs in the second innings. Delhi had already won two games in this season under the leadership of newly appointed skipper Ishant Sharma.
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