Tight security for World Cup games at Kotla

Monday, February 21, 2011

NEW DELHI - Feroze Shah Kotla is humming with activity. The stadium is all decked up colourfully while the pitch is tended with all care and concern. The hawk-eyed security men are all over making sure nothing is left to chance ahead of Thursday’s World Cup game between South Africa and West Indies.

The government’s disaster management force is busy tying up loose ends and hundreds of volunteers are being briefed about their tasks even as a bunch of civil defence personnel in yellow jackets conduct a mock drill. Out in the middle the lush green ground stands out.

International cricket is finally back at Kotla following a one year ban after the India-Sri Lanka match was abandoned in December 2009 after 23 overs on a “dangerous” pitch.

Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) secretary S.P. Bansal says they are expecting a good turnout for Saturday’s game as well as the India-Netherlands match March 9.

Ticket sales began Saturday and are priced between Rs 575 and 9,200.

“The stadium’s seating capacity is 41,000 and the response to the ticket sales, sold through select branches of Bank of Maharashtra, has been good. On the first day of the online sales Friday, 10 percent of the tickets were sold,” Bansal told IANS.

“Tickets will also be distributed by the Board of the Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) among the school children in the city.

“We are expecting a good turn out for the first match and a house full for the India match. For the second and third matches, both being non-India matches, we are not expecting much sale and for these matches the tickets rates have been slashed by 50 percent.”

Bansal said top security will be in place for all the matches.

“The security will be tight and we are fully cooperating with the Delhi police to make sure all all safety measures are in place. The disaster management team is doing their best to ensure smooth conduct of the matches. There will be 20-30 ambulances in case of any medical emergency. We also have a large number of volunteers, at least 800,” he said.

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