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When Inzy got angry

During an India-Pakistan match in Canada on 14th September 1997, the crowd started abusing and at one point Inzamam snapped and ran towards Thinde in the stands.

Last updated: 14.09.2019
When Inzy got angry | Sports Social Blog

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14th September 1997 was remembered for all the wrong reasons happened during an India-Pakistan match in Canada. It was the second match of the 1997 Sahara Cup which was being played at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club.

Among all the political tension near home, Canada seemed to be a perfect location for the Asian giants to play each other. There was no lack of support due to the huge expat communities from both the countries in Canada. However, the security in the ground was light. Players and spectators could interact easily and also for some unknown reason the crowd was allowed to bring megaphone during the match. And it created all the trouble.

On 14th September, during the second ODI, Pakistan batted first and limped to 116 in front of some terrific bowling by India. Inzamam-ul-Haq, the mainstay of the Pakistani batting visibly struggled to cope with the pitch and condition and scored a laboured 34-ball 10 while batting. But then things got worse when Pakistan were fielding.


With megaphone in hand, a part of the crowd was hostile from the beginning. They hurled abuse at players whole day which was audible from the entire ground. Those included racial slur as well as insults with body shaming and calling names. A particular spectator, one Shiv Kumar Thinde was primarily behind Inzamam and kept calling him ‘Fat Rotten Potato’ in Hindi.

During the Indian innings after the first drinks break Inzamam was placed from slips to the third man to the field, nothing unusual in that. Within a few minutes, there was a cricket bat kept near third man boundary kept by the twelfth man. Abuses kept coming and at one point Inzamam snapped and ran towards Thinde in the stands.

There were a jostle and fistfight before security personal came and even though Inzamam was back in the arena he did not cool down. He took the cricket bat from the twelfth man and again attacked the man. Luckily he was stopped by part of the crowd and security officials and no mishap happened. Inzamam was escorted away to the dressing room and the match was stopped for 45 minutes. During this time an announcement was made to stop using a megaphone in the crowd and two spectators were arrested. Also, the Indian and Pakistani captain Sachin Tendulkar and Rameez Raja went around the ground asking the crowd to calm down.

The match started later and India completed an easy win. The match referee Jacki Hendricks gave only two-match suspension for Inzamam as he thought the player was provoked. Inzamam accepted his mistake but claimed that he did not have violence in his mind and wanted to defend himself and ask that man why he was abusing him. 

The man Thinde did not take things lightly and wanted to file a complaint. However, Authorities did not take things that seriously and the charges were dropped.

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