Guwahati T20I: No posters; only phone, keys and purse allowed

Guwahati Commissioner of Police M.P. Gupta said spectators would be allowed to carry only their purse, car keys and mobile phones inside the ground on Sunday.

Groundsmen at work ahead of the first T20I between India and Sri Lanka at the Barsapara Stadium on Sunday.   -  PTI

 

The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Barsapara Stadium resembles a fortress ahead of hosting the opening encounter of the three-match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which killed five in police firing last month, had paralysed the city for a few days. Now, the ACA and the state government have left no stone unturned to hold an incident-free match.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Guwahati Commissioner of Police M.P. Gupta said spectators would be allowed to carry only their purse, car keys and mobile phones.

“Sketch pens and markers will not be allowed,” he said.

When asked whether posters would be allowed inside the stadium, ACA secretary Devajit Saikia said, “Nothing except these three items will be allowed.”

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Saikia added that the pouring rights between Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a beverage company ended seven days ago; posters – which may be used by other companies for surrogate advertisement – will not be allowed.

However, there was ambiguity over the tricolour.

Saikia denied that the steps were taken to discourage possible CAA protests during the match. “Any kind of international match needs heightened security. Nothing more, nothing less.”

He said the ACA was never apprehensive about hosting the match. “There was never a situation when the ACA and BCCI were skeptical about the conduct of the match. Everything went as per the plan,” he said.

Around 27,000 tickets out of 39,400 have been sold, and it will be a preparatory event for the ACA as it will host three home games of Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020.

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“We want to hold this match in the best possible way. We have arranged for entertainment. It will be a colourful and vibrant event,” Mamon Majumdar, the BCCI representative, agreed.

“This match is important not only for Assam, but also for the whole of north east. Hosting of IPL will depend on the success of this match.”

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