Anti-Naxal cover for cricketers

The Indian and Australian cricket teams will be under a tight security cover as there are pointers to suggest shadow of possible Naxal menace on Nagpur ODI

updated: October 27, 2009 07:59 IST
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The Indian and Australian cricket teams will be under a tight security cover as there are pointers to suggest shadow of possible Naxal menace on the Nagpur ODI on October 28.

Meanwhile, both the teams had net practice at the stadium to have a feel of the ground. The Australian side was the first to reach on schedule while Indian team arrived a little late. Security at the ground was very regular. As per sources, heavy security will be deployed on Wednesday.

The two teams arrived in Nagpur on Monday to play the second ODI of the seven-match series.

Police officials said they were geared up for the Nagpur ODI. Anti-Naxal staff will be deployed on the route from the hotel to the stadium for the day night match to provide a security box.

"We have taken lessons from Lahore incident. There was attack on the way. Though, we have no input of any attack, but we will be giving a box security and anti-Naxal staff will be posted on the way. They (anti-Naxal staff) are specially trained and capable for nighttime operations. We shall be bringing anti-Naxal staff to keep a watch on watchtowers with night vision devices. There can be people among spectators with ulterior motives carrying some photos etc. Hence, we shall deploy men in the spectators to keep an eye for such Naxal or other elements," said Surendra Kumar Singh, IG of Nagpur range.

Kumar said that about 1,000 personnel, three SP level officers, eight Deputy SPs, 22 Inspectors, 84 Sub-Inspectors, 150 women staff and 80 traffic staffers will be deployed along with a company of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF).

Vidarbha Cricket Association, the hosts for the second one-dayer, have ensured there are no loopholes in the security

"We have ensured a three-tier security system and also covered 98 per cent area under CCTV surveillance right from the parking area of the stadium," said VCA President Sudhir Dabeer.

Meanwhile, Australia are in for testing times as they will miss the stellar presence of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson in the second ODI. Both the star players have been ruled out of the match due to injuries.

All-rounder James Hopes was already ruled out of the match with a hamstring strain, which he picked-up during the first match in Baroda. Now speedsters Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson have also been ruled out of Wednesday's game.

Lee developed a mild right elbow strain after bowling just six overs in the first game while Mitchell Johnson strained his left ankle.

New South Wales all-rounder Moises Henriques will join the Aussie squad as a standby player.

James Hopes is not expected to play in Nagpur or at least till the fourth game in Mohali.

Australia are already missing key players like Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Nathan Bracken.

(With agency inputs)