Windies blast 'ridiculous' Lorgat in stoning row

West Indies cricket team coach Ottis Gibson, pictured in December, has blasted International Cricket Council boss Haroon Lorgat as “ridiculous” for attempting to play down the Dhaka bus stoning controversy.

Mohali: Mar 6, 2011

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson blasted International Cricket Council boss Haroon Lorgat as “ridiculous” on Sunday for attempting to play down the Dhaka bus stoning controversy. Lorgat insisted that Friday’s incident, which saw the West Indies team bus attacked by angry Bangladesh fans after the home team had suffered a humiliating World Cup loss, was minor with just pebbles hurled at the vehicle.

But Gibson told Lorgat that it was a serious breach of security which caused the West Indies team to take cover on the floor of the bus. The fans thought they were venting their anger at their own side.

“There were stones thrown at our bus. I just want to make it clear first of all and remind Haroon Lorgat of his responsibilities. He can’t sit in a hotel room in Chennai and say they were pebbles,” said Gibson.

Bangladesh were bowled out for just 58 in the match, their lowest one-day total, before losing by nine wickets. The defeat severely dented the home side’s hopes of making the quarter-finals. Fans also attacked Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan’s house.

“What we heard hitting the bus and smashing glass didn’t seem to us to be pebbles,” added Gibson. “So it is not fair to make a statement like that. We as management of the West Indies team here believe that was a ridiculous statement to make.”

Security around the West Indies team has been stepped up in Mohali where they face Ireland on Friday. Giving details of what had happened in Dhaka, Gibson said: “We were in the bus and enjoying ourselves after the win.

“Some (fans) were taking pictures outside. We saw a hell lot of people… suddenly stones were thrown at our bus and a couple of windows smashed. The glass broke, but it didn’t shatter and no rock came inside. No player suffered injury. Most of us ducked down on the floor of the bus.”

“We don’t know whether it was deliberate or fans thought it was a Bangladeshi bus. But that doesn’t matter, the fact is that this should not have happened, whether it is our bus or their bus.” West Indies players made it clear they were glad to be in Mohali.

“Is it ok for me to say thank god I left bangladesh???!!!,” said spinner Sulieman Benn on his Twitter account. The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) claim that more should be done to protect the players.

“It is regrettable what transpired in Bangladesh. Thankfully none of our players are hurt,” said WIPA chairman Dinanath Ramnarine.

“The potential for terrible incidents like this is why we insist that the standards agreed for matches must be continuously assessed and must be met at all times as it relates to the security of our players.

“Given the assault by gunmen on the bus of the Sri Lankan players two years ago, WIPA is concerned that while other teams were provided with their personal security consultant by their respective boards, the West Indies team was not provided with the same level of support.

“WIPA is naturally concerned about the attack – more specifically about the ability of individuals to be able to attack the bus, without the protection layer promised in the event security plans.”