Trouble from the crowd interrupted Sunrisers Hyderabad’s IPL 2023 fixture against Lucknow Super Giants today (May 13), as objects were seemingly thrown into the LSG dugout after a questionable no-ball decision.

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Members of the crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad reportedly threw nuts and bolts towards the LSG back-room staff in the team dugout in the last couple of overs in the first innings of the match. Lucknow were fielding at the time and there was a break in play while the incident was sorted out.

Sunrisers had just been controversially denied a free hit after LSG reviewed an on field call by the square-leg umpire, who deemed the ball from Avesh Khan above waist height and therefore a no ball. The third umpire overturned the decision despite the ball appearing to reach the crease above Abdul Samad’s waist. The call was marginal however, as Samad was crouching slightly at the time.

Heinrich Klaasen, batting at the time, was particularly annoyed at the decision. He remonstrated with the umpires on the field before the next ball was bowled.

After Klaasen the hit the following ball for four, play was delayed for a couple of minutes as the crowd disruption occurred near to the LSG dugout. Coaches and other members of support staff, including head coach Andy Flower, were in the dugout at the time.

On commentary, Simon Doull said: “A little crowd issue, we can say, a little crowd issue – which is never nice.”

“No, it isn’t,” replied Mpumelelo Mbangwa. “It’s the issue of that overturned no ball, the legal delivery and the complaints. The team are trying to make sure everything is okay, the Lucknow team, the visiting side.”

“What’s hard to understand is most dugouts have what we call flexi-glass,” added Sunil Gavaskar. “Here we have beach umbrella kind of things, which is no protection. Come on, the Hyderabad Cricket Association can provide the proper dugouts rather than these makeshift things you see. Obviously these are a problem, an issue.”

The Hyderabad Cricket Association had come under scrutiny last September, when a stampede broke out at the Gymkhana, where the tickets for the third T20I between India and Australia were being sold. The police filed three cases against them.

After play resumed, Klaasen skied a catch off the final ball of the over. But the disruption continued into the final over of the innings.

SRH’s batters reviewed another no-ball call of the second ball from Yash Thakur, asking for the third umpire to overturn the onfield umpire’s call of a fair delivery. In another marginal call, the third umpire ruled the ball was indeed fair and denied Sunrisers another free hit.

This once again caused disruption from the crowd, with play stopped once more to restore order.

“They’ve actually made it worse for their own team,” said Doull. “It’s disappointing what they’ve done, we won’t go into the details of what they’ve done but it’s really disappointing.”

Sunrisers finished their innings on 182-6, having scored 13 runs off the final nine balls after the disruption started. In an interview during the innings break, Klaasen said: “I’m disappointed with crowd to be honest, that’s not what you want at your home venue. You want people to want to play at your home venue so very disappointed. That broke a lot of momentum. Some not so great umpiring decisions being made but that’s part of the game and you have to get over it and go on with life.”