It is no secret that wherever Team India goes, the fans follow. While there is no denying the fact that the support of the fans goes a long way in motivating the players when they set foot on the field, it is also true that over excited fans can sometimes cross the line and make things difficult for the players, especially when the cricketers are looking to be away from the hullabaloo and focus on the job in hand. But the security regulations of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made it tough for the Indian team.
Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that even though there have been quite a few instances when excited fans have breached the security cordon in an effort to click a selfie or get an autograph, the protocols put in place by the international body has meant that the Indian team management has had its task cut out.
"As per the ICC regulations, security is needed to be invisible. But the exuberance surrounding the tournament is such that actual physical presence of security is the need of the hour considering the number of fans who are seen in and around the hotels where the Indian team stays," the source pointed.
The fear of the Indian team is justified as was evident in a recent episode in the team hotel when excited fans started clicking photos of the players and intruded their privacy without prior permission.
Speaking to IANS, a player further added that while they do understand the eagerness of the fans to get clicked or grab an autograph, the cricketers also deserve their private space as they need to focus and channelise their energy into producing match-winning performances.
"We do realise that when we do well, people start recognising us and after a point they wish to click pictures with us or take an autograph. While nobody is questioning their intention, but we are also human and need our space. Even when we as kids would go for an autograph and if we were turned down we felt bad, but then, there are times when you are not in the mood to get clicked and that is when the fans get hurt and start being judgmental.
"They feel we have attitude issues, but that is really not the case. They must try and understand that we also have a personal life. Sometimes the fans even when told to wait for a picture or autograph seem to get restless and that creates an unwanted situation," he explained.
The ruckus during the Pakistan-Afghanistan game on Saturday was the perfect example of why the Indian team's concern has merit and the ICC should look to beef up security not just at the grounds, but also at team hotels.
(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)