Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SL cricketers breach security cover

Sri Lankan players gave the local police some anxious moments when they went for a night-out without security cover.

According to sources, some members of the visiting team, including senior batsman Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan went partying at a bar at Camac Street in Kolkata, putting local police in a tizzy.

The cricketers left the hotel at around 11:00 pm.
While some of the Sri Lankan team members returned early, Jayasuriya and Dilshan came back around 2:00 am, the sources said.

"Many of them went out but returned soon. Only the duo of Dilshan and Jayasuriya returned quite late. If somebody goes out of security, what can we do? They are all responsible cricketers," local manager of the team Samir Dasgupta said.

Sri Lankan team management, however, denied that the duo returned late and said they did not go for any party or fun.

"There was no concern as the cricketers had informed the management and police before stepping out. Not all cricketers went out, just a few of them had gone and returned in about an hour," Lankan manager Brendon Kuruppu told PTI.

"There were policemen, hotel and security staff escorting them and they did not go for partying. And on top of that it was a day off for them," Kuruppu added.

Also on Tuesday, Dilshan went to the house of his Delhi Daredevils teammate Manoj Tiwari.
Incidentally, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dilshan did not turn up for Wednesday's optional practice session.

Following the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan earlier this year, security has always been a concern.

In the wake of a terror alert and the intelligence inputs about possible suicide attacks on the vital installations in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, security cover of the cricketers have been beefed up.

Security tightened at Eden Gardens
In view of the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan in March this year, an unprecedented security cover has been put in place for their fourth ODI against India at the Eden Gardens.

Jawans of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), armed police personnel and commandos have been positioned around the Eden Gardens as a three-tier security ring has been thrown for both the teams lodged in a five-star hotel in the city.

"Security has been arranged in such a way that none will be able to barge into the ground and approach the players," Joint Commissioner of Police(HQ), Jawed Shamim said.

With Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty supervising the security arrangements, even mediapersons have been barred inside the hotel lobby under control of the security personnel.
Metal detectors, sniffer dogs and hectic movement of armed securitymen in the hotel as well as in the Eden Gardens have been witnessed for the last few days.

Police have given clear guidelines to the two teams on security norms.
"So far, there has been no security breach on the part of any cricketer of either team," Shamim said.

Shamim said some dummy buses had been kept ready for the two teams both at the hotel and at the ground.

"This has been done in the interests of players' security," he added.
As usual, there has been last-minute scurrying for tickets, mainly complimentary ones. Police have been keeping a close watch on any blackmarketing of such tickets.

Meanwhile, the number of seats at the stadium has gone down by 45,000 due to dismantling of four galleries for repairing of the venue.

Following this, police said that demand for complimentary tickets had gone up considerably.

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