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5th ODI called off due to wet outfield

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Last updated on: April 09, 2006 16:43 IST

The fifth One-Day International between India and England in Guwahati on Sunday was called off without a ball being bowled because of a soggy outfield.

The umpires -- Rudi Koertzen and A V Jayprakash -- carried out five inspections of the ground before calling off the match at 1315 IST, citing "unplayable ground conditions".

Unseasonal rain during the last few days rendered the ground soggy.

- Images from the Nehru stadium in Guwahati

With the outfield remaining wet till noon, the umpires consulted rival captains Virender Sehwag and Andrew Flintoff before announcing their decision, which angered spectators and led to unruly scenes.

The teams now travel to Jamshedpur for the sixth game of the seven-match series on April 12.

India have already taken an unassailable 4-0 lead.

The decision of the umpires to call off the match was met with disapproval by fans, who had waited patiently since morning in the hope of catching some action at the Nehru stadium.

Police had to lob tear gas shells to disperse the crowd after a section of spectators turned unruly, burning posters and banners in the gallery.

Two policemen and a spectator were injured as bricks and bamboos were hurled at the cops.

The crowd trouble started in the eastern stand and spread quickly to other galleries. Four cameras of the Nimbus production unit that was covering the match were damaged. While the one used for the 'Hawk Eye' view was burnt, two others were damaged beyond repair.

"It has been a security disaster; the police should have acted in time," a Nimbus official said.

Assam Cricket Association secretary Bikash Barooah said, "We are not satisfied with the umpires' decision. We will write to the ICC about it."

Following the trouble, the Indian and England teams were whisked away to the team bus by armed escort.

Spectators started losing their cool shortly after noon as the decision of the umpires was made known.

They threw water bottles and stones on to the ground and pulled down vinyl boards and other in-stadia advertisements.

Some gathered posters and banners and set them afire. Burning clothes were also thrown in the area between the crowd fencing and boundary line.

Earlier, the authorities, having exhausted all options, even went to the extent of deploying a helicopter to fan the outfield dry after conventional mopping up operations and use of the super sopper proved ineffective.

With a generally overcast sky and the sun only filtering through intermittently, ACA officials pressed the chopper into service for about 45 mintues but even the extreme step failed to bear results.

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