Cricket Pitch Invasions: Contrasting Reactions in Different Times

Michael Roberts 

If memory serves me right Terry Alderman injured himself when he tackled a lone Aussie pitch-invader on one occasion. Johnny Baisow isa sturdy Yorkshireman and he had no problems carting off …..yes “carting off” …. a slim intruder at the holy-of-holies ground known as “The Lords.”







When Terry Aldermand tackled an Aussie intruder at …. he was not as efficient: he injured himself.

Both these energetic policing actions stand in contrast to the calm, cool and collected responses of fielders, umpires and batsmen at the Kennington Oval when a bunch of Sri Lankan Tamil protestors (migrants all) rushed onto the grounds in display of their political cause on the 11th June 1975.















Do study the third photograph above. The umpires were (are) as calm as can be. So, too, are the Sri Lankan fielders and Aussie batsmen. Indeed, Mevan Pieris and Bill Lawrie left their trenches and proceeded to have a convivial chat.

There was, then, no media coverage of the calibre we have today. But the cartoonists and commentators of that era had their media ‘bites;’ and the ESPNcricinfo’s pictorial shots are quite graphic and illuminating.

The leaflet distributed by the Tamil activists was collected and kept by that great cricketing archivist, the late SS Perera. It is reproduced  in my book Crosscurrents. Sri Lanka and Australia at Cricket,  Sydney, Walla Walla Press, 1998, p. 91.

Ironically, the fierce and relentless  pace bowler, Geoff Thomson, was a greater danger to the Sri Lankan cricketers than the Tamil activists. Sunil Wettimuny and Duleep Mendis were carried off with injuries and hospitalised. Accounts of th match from alan Gibson and Mervyn Pereira can be seen in Crosscurrents, pp. 88-94.

……….. VISIT

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One response to “Cricket Pitch Invasions: Contrasting Reactions in Different Times

  1. Edward T Upali

    1. Sri Lanka squad, according to the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka, (please see lik below), consisted of 14 players and did not include a coach  – Anura Tennekoon, his deputy Michael Tissera, Ranjit Fernando, Bandula Warnapura, Sunil Wettimuny, David Heyn, Mevan Pieris, Tony Opatha, Dennis Chanmugam, D.S. de Silva, Ajith de Silva, Lalith Kaluperuma, Duleep Mendis and Anura Ranasinghe.

    2. If ethnic origins were considered, as a qualification to be in the team, Dennis Chanmugam would have been regarded as from the Tamil community. The team, however, could be marked by an overrepresentation of the Burgher community.

    3. The selectors obviously picked the team on their ability, form, and their suitability for conditions in the UK. It is evident that the selectors did not attach any significance to the ethnic origin or race of the players.  

    4. It is very clear that communal politics was not a factor in the selection of the SL team. But such propaganda, antics -such as the invading the cricket grounds, were useful to the Tamil Diaspora to gain permanent entry to UK and other Western countries.

    4. The link to the Sunday Times Story:
    Inside story of Sri Lanka’s 1975 World Cup Campaign | The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

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