Rajyavardhan Rathore has assured that the visiting athletes in the India vs Australia series and for the FIFA U-17 World Cup can rest easy despite an incident of a rock being thrown at the Australian team bus in Guwahati. He further added that the Australian cricket team and FIFA are content with the security provided across the country while implying that it was a one-off incident.
The Sports Minister further added that he has spoken to Chief Minister of Assam Sarbanand Sonawal to take stock of the security situation with Guwahati also playing host to FIFA U-17 World Cup matches. “Guwahati stone-throwing incident NOT reflective of our security measures. Aus [Australia] team & FIFA are content w/those [with those]. India remains a graceful host. Have spoken to @sarbanandsonwal ji about the Guwahati incident. Personal security of visiting athletes & teams is extremely important for us,” he wrote on Twitter.
Aaron Finch shared an image of a broken window as Australia returned to their team hotel from the Barsapara Stadium. “Pretty scary having a rock thrown through the team bus window on the way back to the hotel!!,” said Finch in his tweet. Earlier in the night, Australia had recorded a comfortable eight wicket win over India in the second T20 to level the three-match series 1-1. This means it will be all to play for in the third T20I in Hyderabad on Friday.
Sonowal condemned the incident and vowed to take quick action against the culprits. He wrote on Twitter, “Really unfortunate incident after a great game aimed to tarnish Guwahati’s reputation as emerging sports hub. We strongly condemn it. Vow to take strictest action against the culprits. Investigation is on full swing & Police have already picked up 2 suspects. Yesterday, we had a great game. We had the best audiences. People of Assam are biggest sports lovers & great hosts. People of Assam don’t approve this. #FIFAU17WC going on in Guwahati. FIFA & all teams expressed their satisfaction at our arrangements. Yesterday, we witnessed a spectacular game & great display of sportsman spirit by the audience. Both teams were given a rousing welcome. Performances by both the teams were hailed by audience, expressing people’s commitment towards turning Assam as Sports Capital of India. So, whoever got indulged in the hooliganism did it on the sole objective of defaming Assam & derailing its journey towards the top. That’s a design we will foil with the support of the people of Assam. Culprits will face full force of law & given exemplary punishment,” in a series of eight tweets.
There were further condemnation over the incident while maintaining that it was a one-off incident and should be attributed to miscreant(s).
The incident could be a huge blow to the venue’s chances of holding a fixture in the future. It was it is the first match in the city in seven years and the first international fixture to be held at Barsapara Stadium.