Crowd problems at Eden Park

With the match well and truly a lost cause for New Zealand supporters, some of those in attendance at yesterday’s opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee series sought other means of amusing themselves, which resulted in 40 evictions from the ground and 10 arrests, as well as a delay in play after Brett Lee notified captain Ricky Ponting and the umpires of objects being thrown in his direction while he was fielding on the boundary in front of the terraces.

Lee, who had earlier been involved in some good-natured banter with the terraces crowd, had bottles landing close on either side of him for several minutes, putting up with the barrage until an apple very narrowly missed him and he understandably made the situation known to Ponting and the umpires. Play was delayed for several minutes while umpire Aleem Dar went to speak with the crowd and security, with more security added before play resumed.

The match also saw three pitch invasions, the first of which involving three people, in a display described by some as the among the worst crowd behaviour incidents ever seen at the ground.

Security will be stepped up for the remaining matches in the series in Wellington and Christchurch, and in an attempt to protect the players from projectiles the front three rows of seats at the grounds will be left empty.

With Australia 1-0 up after their humiliation of the home side in the series opener, the second match is at Wellington’s WestpacTrust Stadium on Wednesday at 2pm.

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