Police way of amusing themselves at Kotla (World Cup Diary)

Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - With not much policing to do, Delhi Police officials manning the Ferzoeshah Kotla took turns to enjoy the West Indies-Netherlands World Cup match in a rather innovative way here Monday.

One policeman, posted at the entrance, instructed his colleagues in the stands to alert him with a ping on his walkie talkies whenever a boundary is hit. Of the two walkie talkies he held, the right one was to be pinged for a four and the left for a six!

“It can be boring sometimes to be at the gate,” the official sheepishly said.

Germans, Englishmen root for the Dutch

The Netherlands had the surprise support from German and English fans during their encounter with the West Indies at the Kotla here Monday.

The presence of a handful of Germans, who are unknown for their cricket, came out to support the Dutch, with whom they share a great rivalry in football.

“I know nothing about the game and it prompted me to come here. Back home we love our football and people hardly know about cricket. I have some Indian friends and they got me here,” said Lukas Schwarz, a German national.

Martin Vidler, an English county umpire, also came to watch the low-profile game.

“I am here purely for the love of cricket. I am a coach and an umpire in Lancashire. A lot of these Dutch players play county cricket. I want to see them beating the West Indies,” Vidler told IANS.

Lucky winners

Shoaib Kamal and Co. could not believe their luck. The cricket team of Allahabad Yuva Samrat Rajiv Gandhi Degree College won the inter-college cricket competition organised by World Cup sponsors Hero Honda last month and as a prize, the 11 members and the coach got a ticket to watch the match here Monday.

“We were told that we would be watching a match nearest to our city and it turned out to be Delhi. Ideally we wanted to watch an India match but that could not happen, but we are happy with it, The atmosphere here is electrifying and we are having a great time,” skipper Shoaib told IANS.

Shoaib, whose elder brother Ubaid, played for India A said his side is keen to watch star West Indies players Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo as also Ryan ten Doeschate, who hit a century in their match against England .

“I have played a lot of matches at Kotla as I used to play in the DDCA league. The stadium looks so much beautiful now,” he said.

Their stay here is taken care of by the sponsors.

Stifling security for scribes

The stifling security norms that plagued the scribes during the Commonwealth Games are back. The police personnel at the gate objected to even routine items like hand sanitisers and mouth freshner and in no time flung them into the huge dustbin, which was already filled with sunscreens, chewing gums and even combs!

One of the policewomen had a vague explanation for banning the hand sanitisers.

“Some people can carry harmful liquids in these bottles, but we know you won’t do that. Yet, the instruction is to seize them.”

Wonder, why object then?

Empty stands at Kotla

Empty stands greeted the spectators Monday even after the ticket rates were slashed by 50 per cent.

Seeing a milling press box, a spectator at the stands quipped: “The press box is more crowded than the stadium!”

Filed under: Cricket, Football

will not be displayed