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India v Australia 2023

‘He has found gold!’ – India-Australia Test comically halted as persistent fan refuses to stop searching for lost ball

Ahmedabad spectator refused to stop searching for ball, found it finally
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A persistent Ahmedabad spectator’s hilarious attempt to retrieve a lost ball halted play for a considerable while, much to the amusement of his fellow fans.

With just five balls left on the second day, Shubman Gill decided to take on Nathan Lyon, depositing him over long-on for six. The ball flew into the white sheets acting as an extended sightscreen on the adjoining seats and trickled underneath the folds.

As the players waited, the umpires called for an additional set of balls to resume play, seeing little hope of the original ball being retrieved. That’s when Ahmedabad found an unlikely saviour – a spectator crawled his way through the rows to the scene of the crime, diving into the white folds in an attempt to retrieve the ball. He really was on a mission: despite repeated requests from the security, and animated gestures from umpire Richard Kettleborough, the man did not stop. Burying himself in the white sheets, he continued his search.


As it invariably happens for several humorous cricketing moments, Ravi Shastri happened to be present in the commentary box. And he did not disappoint, providing a running commentary of the treasure hunt.

Ball lost in Ahmedabad

Despite repeated requests, the spectator refused to stop his search

“Oh, the big fellow is gone in!” Shastri exclaimed. “Let’s hope he doesn’t drown there. [They’re] taking a new ball anyway”.

The replacement ball was handed back to Lyon, and the players were ready, but play did not resume. The man searched and searched, waving back at the players, and diving into the sheets once again. Rohit Sharma was visibly unimpressed.

And then came the moment of triumph.

In dramatic movie style, the man emerged out of the folds with a ball in hand, waving it excitedly and drawing vociferous cheers and applause.

“Oh, he’s found it! Oh, he has found it. He has found gold!” thundered Shastri into the mic.

He nearly toppled, threw the ball back, and promptly lost balance once again. There was a big smile on his face.

Shastri gave a blow-by-blow account on commentary.

“He might just fall. He’s just about losing balance. What the heck, [ball] comes out and down he goes. He goes down again for the count”.

Shubman Gill had a big smile on his face, and the match finally resumed. On a topsy-turvy day, India ended the day at 36-0.

The day’s honours, though, belonged to the persistent spectator in white. Ahmedabad found a new hero, and Twitter, a new meme material.

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