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Australia’s run chase in their World Cup clash with Sri Lanka was delayed amid concerns for player and spectator safety, as heavy winds caused hoardings at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow to fall from the roof.
As the ground was hit by heavy winds late in Sri Lanka’s innings, play was halted for several minutes as flags and other temporary signage came loose – along with the heavy poles attaching them to the stadium – with fans reportedly left ‘scampering to safety’.
The Australian team were visibly concerned watching on as authorities restored calm in the stands.
“We’ve got to be careful here now. There’s bits of the stands just coming down as well – that’s why they’re just going to stop play,” England captain Nasser Hussain said on the World Cup’s official television feed.
“There was a large chunk of the stand that came down, I hope everyone’s ok. The wind has just brought something down there.
“There were some poles on that banner. There were actually some poles that came down on the crowd, that’s why the players are looking a little bit concerned.”
After Sri Lanka were bowled out for 209 in the next over after play resumed, the Australian innings start was likewise held up, with umpires concerned about safety after parts of the scaffolding were left scattered around the playing field through the innings break.
It has been reported that thankfully, no spectators were harmed by the falling debris, though instructions were given for fans to move back to the higher seats at the stadium, out of harm’s way.
The incident is the latest in a series of ugly sights that have left a blight on the prestige competition, with soiled seats and sparse crowds domination discussion for the past week.