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Tight security at stadium, hotels in Rajkot

Last updated on: November 05, 2016 12:28 IST
  • Local boy Cheteshwar Pujara will join the team from Rajkot.
  • Ravindra Jadeja will join the team from Jamnagar.
  • Hardik Pandya will reach Rajkot by road -- travelling 300 km from Baroda.

Haresh Pandya reports from Rajkot.

Indian Captain Virat Kohli arrives in Rajkot with his girlfriend, actress Anushka Sharma. Photograph: Haresh Pandya

IMAGE: Indian Captain Virat Kohli arrives in Rajkot with his girlfriend, actress Anushka Sharma.
Wish Virat on his birthday!
Photograph: Haresh Pandya

 

As Rajkot prepares to host its first ever Test match from November 9 between Virat Kohli's Indian and Alastair Cooke's England teams, the Saurashtra Cricket Association and the city police do not want to take any chance about the players' security.

"The home team will stay in the Imperial hotel in the heart of the city, the English squad in the Fortune Park JPS Grand hotel," says SCA Media Manager Himanshu Shah.

"The Indian squad is reaching Rajkot in three batches on Saturday. The English party will land on Sunday," Shah adds.

The three Gujarati cricketers will join the team separately.

While Cheteshwar Pujara hails from Rajkot itself, Ravindra Jadeja is from Jamnagar, which is only 90 km from the venue.

Hardik Pandya, who is from Baroda, will come by road from his hometown, which is 300 km from Rajkot.

Both teams will be accorded a ceremonious welcome in the traditional Indian fashion -- garlands, kumkum tilak and all -- at the hotel.

"As hosts," says Himanshu Shah, "we want to ensure that their stay here is comfortable and memorable. And we are not going to spare any effort in this regard."

Rajkot may be a small city, but the craze for cricket and its practitioners has always been on a giant scale here.

Whenever there is an international game in the city (and Rajkot has hosted nearly a dozen so far), a swarm of cricket enthusiasts camp outside the hotels in the hope of catching a glimpse of the cricketers.

Keeping this in mind, the two hotels have been turned into virtual fortresses with policemen and other security personnel outside and inside.

The Rajkot district police has ensured that there is tighter security at the SCA Stadium on the city's outskirts under the direct supervision of range Deputy Inspector General of Police D N Patel and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Rajkot rural) Antreep Sood.

Security at the stadium has been arranged in three divisions. Each division will be headed by different deputy superintendents of police. Each spectator will be under strict vigil, according to the police authorities.

In all, 3 deputy superintendents of police, 10 police inspectors, 45 police sub-inspectors, 200 police constables and 2 platoons of the State Reserve Police will be patrolling the stadium during the Test.

Haresh Pandya
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