World Cup: Teams could take chopper ride from airport to hotel

Friday, December 10, 2010

KOLKATA - In a bid to ensure foolproof security during the February-March cricket World Cup, authorities here are toying with the idea of flying participating teams from the airport to the team hotel in helicopters, a local cricket official said Thursday.

The proposal was discussed in a series of meetings held by a 27-member International Cricket Council (ICC) team that inspected the facilities at the venue Eden Gardens as also the team hotel Taj Bengal. They also deliberated on security issues with the top brass of city police.

The ICC team asked for a dedicated lane for the players and officials. But the city police said it would be difficult to arrange for that in such a short time.

However, another proposal has been put before the ICC delegation that if needed, the teams could be flown in helicopter from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport to a helipad near the team hotel. The matter will be deliberated upon further, said a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official.

Eden Gardens will be playing host to four group matches between India and England, Ireland and South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe and Ireland versus Netherlands.

CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey later said some ICC representatives also visited the Jadavpur university stadium at Salt Lake as an alternate practice venue for emergency situations.

The team, which included technical experts from various disciplines, expressed satisfaction with the pace of work and was effusively praised the upcoming dressing room.

ICC pitch committee chief Andy Atkinson spent a long time on the pitch and went round the ground. “He seemed happy,” said Eden Gardens pitch curator Prabir Mukherjee.

Another small ICC contingent will arrive in the city in the second week of January.

City police joint commissioner (headquarters) Jawed Shamim said the organisers have been asked to make clear the dos and donts to the spectators.

“Spectators are not allowed to carry several things inside the stadium in Eden, which are allowed in other stadium. This creates confusion among them. So the authorities have to make the dos and donts clear to the spectators.”

He also said that Kolkata Police has recommended a set of guidelines to be followed by the BCCI.

“We have also requested the BCCI to maintain the standard while following the guidelines of the ICC,” added Shamim.

The ICC delegation will be visiting Bangladesh from here onwards for the further inspection of the venues hosting world cup matches.

CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya told IANS that all the remaining work will be completed in time.

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