Stone-hurling incident, poor arrangements
spoil mood in Pak camp
AMSHEDPUR: Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and his teammates got quite a shock on Wednesday soon after reaching Ranchi when an unidentified person, from a big crowd which gathered near the airport, hurled a stone at the Pakistan team bus that narrowly missed the skipper.
According to Pakistan manager Saleem Altaf the stone just missed Inzamam who was sitting near the window as the bus came out of the airport complex in Ranchi. "The stone thrown by a miscreant shattered the window as well as the mood of the team," Altaf said.
"We were scheduled to have a nets session on Thursday in preparation for the third One-day International in Jamshedpur on Saturday. But after this incident Inzamam suggested we cancel the nets and allow the boys to take complete rest for the day," he said.
There is no airport at Jamshedpur, which is some 135 kilometres from Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand state where the match is being held. So the teams landed at the Ranchi Airport around 3.30pm with some media personnel also on the same flight and then were taken by buses to Jamshedpur which is about three hours away from the airport.
"The incident has shaken us because so far the boys were very relaxed having received a lot of love and affection and hospitality in India. Someone threw the stone from a big crowd that had gathered outside the airport to catch a glance of the two teams. I donít know if the police managed to arrest him or what. But the incident is something we have to put behind us and will concentrate on the next match," Altaf said.
The stone throwing incident sort of annoyed the Pakistan players who were already unhappy with the travelling arrangements made for the one-day series. On Wednesday morning when they and the Indian players reached the small airport lounge at Vishakapatnam for departure to Ranchi, the lounge was already full and there were no seats for them.
The players stood around for half an hour as the special flight which was to take them from Vishakapatnam to Ranchi had not arrived and one could see the look of frusration on the faces of many of the players who have already been upset with the
one-day itinerary and the extensive travelling schedule going with it.
Last year, when the Indian team toured Pakistan for three Tests and five One-day Interanationals, they travelled the length and breadth of the country without a single untoward incident taking place.
The stone throwing incident came as a surprise since there was heavy security in and around the airport for both teams, given that Jharkhand is supposed to be an area replete with naxalites.