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Windies bus stoned after crushing win

DHAKA (Reuters) Bangladesh fans, who greeted the opening of the World Cup with a glorious celebration two weeks ago, stoned the West Indian team bus yesterday after a humiliating defeat for the home team.

As the victorious West Indian side sat in the bus shortly after leaving the Shere Bangla Stadium to return to the hotel after the match, fans threw stones, two of which hit the window and broke the glass. Nobody was hurt.

Shakib Al Hasan's Bangladesh team had earlier been humiliated by a rampant West Indian attack, skittled for their lowest ever one-day international score of 58 before falling to a nine-wicket defeat.

The attacks, although resulting in no injuries, are an embarrassment both to the Bangladesh security forces and government which has spent millions of dollars on player and fans' safety and the sport's governing bodies.

Bangladesh's Elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) later arrested 10 suspects for throwing stones at the bus, an official of Rab said.

Fans had dispersed by the evening, said a police official.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said they knew about the incident but there had not yet been a complaint by the West Indies board.

“Both buses left the stadium together for the hotel. The police convoy was never halted and both buses reached the hotel safely with no injuries being reported,” the ICC spokesman said.

A Reuters source said that an ICC security advisor was on the bus with the team.

The West Indian team spokesman Philip Spooner said: “A couple of fans threw stones, two hit the window and it just broke. No one was hurt and we are safe.

“The glass didn't shatter. It just broke. They are back in the hotel.”

West Indies opener Chris Gayle tweeted from the bus: “Bangladesh stoning our bus!!! Freaking glass Break!!! This is crap, can't believe . . . what next bullets!!!!

“This is ridiculous!!! Damn!!! W Cup with so many security an this happen!! Big Joke!!! Trust me I'm not keen here!!! ... players lay flat!!!”

A Bangladesh police officer said that the fans had thought the bus was carrying the home team.

Security at the tournament in the sometimes volatile region is a particularly big issue in the sport after a gun attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March, 2009, leading to the deaths of eight people.

As a result, Bangladesh government diverted money from other departments to safeguard players, officials and fans with the bulk of the $67 million World Cup budget spent on security.

“I apologise for the incident and I promise that such things will not be allowed to recur,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Mostafa Kamal told reporters.

The mood of a crowd for the match scene of the opening match on February 19 had turned sour earlier after their team's inept display.

In a symbolic gesture of their disgust, fans laid out their shoes on the road as the Bangladesh team bus drove through the capital.

Mohammad Moudud, 30, a student of BRAC University, had summed up prevailing feelings earlier: “They (Bangladesh players) still need to learn many things. They have just marred our party and the weekend.”

As Shakib's hapless men trooped off with heads kept low, fans tossed almost everything they could get their hands on caps, placards, logos, even jerseys to the outfield as a demonstration of their disappointment.

By the time the West Indian openers Gayle and Darren Bravo returned to open the innings before their side went on to complete the formalities of the win, loud boos circulated the stadium, specially revamped for this tournament.

Those jeers were still reverberating after the match as West Indian fast bowler Kemar Roach collected a second man-of-the-match prize for his three wickets.

It had taken West Indies 90 minutes to polish off the Bangladeshis with a mixture of spin and pace and Darren Sammy's men took 44 minutes and 12.2 overs to knock off their target.

Devon Smith was out for six, bowled by Naeem Islam, Gayle remained unbeaten for 37 and Bravo was nine not out.

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Published March 07, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated March 07, 2011 at 10:00 am)

Windies bus stoned after crushing win

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