Heightened security keeps frenzied fans on the edge

Bangalore, Dec 25 (IANS) The first high-voltage T20 match between arch rivals India and Pakistan late Tuesday drew frenzied fans in hordes to the Chinnaswamy stadium but unprecedented security kept them on the edge, as they were under watchful eyes of hundreds of cops deployed across the stands.

A blanket ban on carrying any object into the stands, including banners, placards, buntings, trumpets or even drums robbed the enthusiastic fans from waving, hooting or blaring as in the domestic India Premier League (IPL) series.

"I have never seen such tight security in the stadium. This is the first time I am watching an exciting match under controlled conditions. I was frisked thrice before I could enter the stands. In a way, it is good to regulate fans for maintaining discipline though it shackles our right to express," said N. Mohan Kumar, a law student.

With the stadium turning into a virtual fortress to keep potential trouble makers away and prevent any sort of demonstration outside or inside the venue, fans had tough time in entering the stadium in time as parking was banned 1km around and vehicular movement was restricted.

**************

Absence of Pakistan fans robs of bipartisan support, colour

Resumption of the much-hyped bilateral series for the shorter version of the game brought an upbeat Pakistan team to India after a gap of five years, but not hundreds of fans from across the border, as they could not get tickets for this match in time to secure visas and make travel arrangements.

"Though we were told initially that about 500 visas were earmarked for the Bangalore match, tickets for our fans did not come in time to apply for visas and travel all the way to south India. The Indian High Commission insisted on producing tickets and hotel reservations for granting visas. As it takes at least seven working days for completing the formalities, many fans kept away," a Pakistan official accompanying the team told IANS.

Barring the 16-member Pakistan squad and a dozen officials, absence of Pakistani fans in the stadium was conspicuous though the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) allotted a separate stand in the pavilion for a ring side view of the match on a green turf.

"We hope some of our fans will be able to make it to the three ODIs (one-day internationals) series after the second T20 in Ahmedabad Dec 28. We are expecting a large turn out of our fans for the ODI in New Delhi Jan 6," the official quipped.

************************

Tame surrender by Indian batters disappoint die-hard fans

Collapse of the Indian middle order and a paltry 133 runs for nine wickets in the stipulated 20 overs after openers Gautam Gambhir (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (42) gave a sold start to the team disappointed die-hard fans to no end.

Put to bat after their captain M.S. Dhoni lost the toss, the 77-run opening partnership raised hopes of fans to watch an exciting contest between the arch-rivals and Indian team putting up a defendable score to win the tie. Alas!

"It is pretty disappointing to see the way they got out one after another without applying their mind and putting up a fight. A lot was expected from Yuvraj Singh, who lofted a huge six of the first ball he faced from Shahid Afridi, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma. But they all fell wayside. Credit goes to Pakistan's discipline bowling and perseverance to let Indians falter," lamented Sanjay Singh, a businessman, who bought two Rs.1,600 tickets to watch the match.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »