Play was stopped during Australia’s World Cup clash against Sri Lanka after flags and hoardings fell into stands near spectators at Ekana Cricket Stadium.
On-field umpires stopped Mitchell Starc at the top of his mark late in the first innings, with fans being escorted towards the back of the stands in the Lucknow venue.
Heavy winds forced the objects to fall from the roof, with BBC reporter Tim Peach revealing spectators were “scampering to safety”.
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Australian stars Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell looked on, shocked to see a rectangle of metal crushing seats in the distance.
Luckily no spectators were injured from the stadium’s malfunction, which could have seriously injured anyone sitting in the crowd.
“I’ve never been a part of that,” Australian spinner Adam Zampa said in the post-match press conference.
“Never seen anything like that.
“That metal pole coming down could have seriously hurt someone.”
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 209 after an opening stands of 125, with both Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera belting half centuries.
The start of Australia’s run chase was delayed due to safety concerns.
“We’re worried about the wind and the damage it can do from a spectator’s point of view as much as anything else,” former New Zealand commentator Ian Smith said in commentary during the innings break.
“You can see it’s not just the hoardings themselves, it’s the scaffold and the structures that have been holding them together. Some of them have blown down as well and that has presented quite a dangerous element to some of the spectators in the grandstand. So I think they’re fully justified in holding off until we can get a bit of a break in the weather. It absolutely disintegrated in the wind, so we have a few questions to answer before we get on with Australia’s reply.”
Leg spinner Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-47 from his eight overs while Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc took two each.
Originally published as ‘Scampering to safety’: Stadium shock as hoardings fall near fans during World Cup clash