Teams arrive in Bhubaneshwar amid tight security

Police left cricket lovers dejected as they whisked away India and England teams through a separate route as soon as they landed in Bhubaneshwar.

updated: November 24, 2008 12:30 IST
  • Total Shares


Police on Monday left hundreds of cricket lovers dejected as they whisked away India and England cricket team players through a separate route as soon as they landed here on a chartered plane for the fifth ODI to be played in Cuttack on Wednesday.

Supporters who had gathered at the Biju Patnaik airport here since early morning to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricketers went home without succeeding in their mission.

Some of them were seen throwing away bouquets they had carried to offer Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.

"I am highly frustrated over the police act of diverting the players' route after their arrival here from Bangalore," said Swaraj Patri, a management student of a city college.

"We had to make alternative arrangements in order to avoid any untoward incident at the airport," Commissioner of Police (CP) B K Sharma said that adequate security was provided for the safety of the players.

The security arrangements were meticulously planned in advance in view of the unpleasant incident which took place about two years ago when the then Team India coach Greg Chappell was assaulted by public at the airport.

An activist of the Kalinga Sena allegedly slapped Chappell bringing embarrassment to the state.

"This time we ensured that nothing of that sort takes place," the CP said adding that besides state police, jawans of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed both at the airport as well as the hotel where the players were staying.

"We are maintaining utmost vigil," Sharma said as the players would go for net practice as well as the match at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, 25 km from the state capital.

Elaborate arrangements had been made to safely escort the players and other members of both the teams to Cuttack and back.

The members of both teams were scheduled to visit the ground in Cuttack on Tuesday, sources said.

Besides opening a temporary police outpost at the hotel, Sharma said security personnel were making rounds in the entire area to avoid any untoward incident.

After their arrival, team members were accorded a ceremonial welcome amid beating of drums and showering of flower petals and kept in the high security zone of the hotel located in Nayapalli area.