~~I took this decision in the interest of players~~

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2002, 2:05 [IST]
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Rajkot: South African match referee Mike Procter said on Tuesday the players' safety was the main reason for calling off the third One-day International between India and the West Indies.

"I took the measures I did to prevent serious injuries to the players," said Procter after awarding the abandoned match to India following crowd trouble. India was declared winners as per the Duckworth-Lewis system used for curtailed matches. "The West Indies did not want to take the field after one of their players was hit and I agreed with them completely," said Procter. "The West Indies and India captain Saurav Ganguly wanted the stadium to be cleared, but I realised there was not enough time to do that. "I didn't want to penalise one team for what happened on the field. India made a fantastic start. It deserved to win. It was ahead (on run-rate)." Procter conceded that crowd control had been a problem in the ongoing seven-match series. "There's a difference between security and safety of the players," he said. "Security has been tight at the hotel and outside the ground, but crowd control has been a problem." The first two One-dayers at Jamshedpur and Nagpur were also marred by disturbance from the stands. The West Indies leads 2-1 in the seven-match series.

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