Guwahati: Keeping aside all speculations of security arising out of the massive protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the recent past, Guwahati is all set to host its second T20 international match and the first game of the 3-match Paytm Trophy T20 series between hosts India and Sri Lanka in the city on January 5.
For the first time ever in T20 international cricket, DJs and fireworks will also be seen at Baraspara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. The successful holding of the match is very much important for the cricket enthusiasts in the region as three Indian Premier League (IPL) matches have been reportedly lined up in the stadium this season.
Addressing media persons ahead of the match, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)- appointed observer, Mamun Mazumder, said that the Sunday match is a gift for Assam by the BCCI.
“Three more IPL matches have been scheduled in this stadium this season. Based on the performance of Assam Cricket Association (ACA) in this match, the BCCI will decide whether Baraspara Cricket Stadium will be selected as the venue for the same. The BCCI joint secretary will be in Guwahati to see the match live,” Mazumder said.
The inaugural match of the series is also believed to be important for both the teams keeping in mind the forthcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia in November this year.
From the security scenario, the match will be a litmus test for security agencies, especially Assam Police, as the local police had to face international criticism after a stone was hurled at the visiting Australian team bus at Lakhara area of the city while the foreign cricketers were returning from the Baraspara Cricket Stadium to hotel after playing a T20 match against India on the night of October 11, 2017. That was the first-ever international T20 game played at the stadium.
Elaborating on the security arrangements made for the crucial match, city police ommissioner MP Gupta said that sufficient number of security personnel have been deployed both inside and outside the stadium.
“Only mobile phones and purse, including vehicle keys will be allowed inside the premises. No posters or sketch pens will be allowed, except flags,” Gupta said. He also urged people to cooperate with the local administration to make the match a grand success.
On the preparations made, ACA president Ramen Dutta said, “We are introducing first time in T20 international match some entertaining elements like DJs, fireworks, etc, in the line of IPL. However, there won’t be any cheerleader during the Sunday match.”
This year, the organisers have arranged sufficient number of food counters and public toilets. Also, we are trying to bring shuttle buses so that people can park their cars at a distance, Dutta said, adding: “A special unit of the BCCI will also present in the city and will be looking after anti-corruption activities, crowd movement and others.”
“Even though the capacity of the stadium is 39,400, over 42,000 people will be inside the stadium during the match. Because of poor views, almost 1,000 seats have been kept as unsold,” Dutta added.
Elaborating on the traffic rules, traffic in-charge (city) Ranjan Bhuyan said that parking arrangements have been made at various places, including at Dhirenpara filed, among others.
“Lakhra and Paltan Bazar connecting road will be totally closed for commercial vehicles from 12 pm on that day,” Bhuyan said.