February 20, 2011

World Cup 2011

West Indies set off some sirens

Sharda Ugra

Who said the West Indians are now one of the uncared-for, fringe teams of this World Cup who are not taken seriously? The West Indians travelled through Delhi, a city that knows and stands down for all howling sirens of VIP traffic, in a convoy of seven vehicles. Their seven-vehicle cavalcade started with two police escort cars, flashing lights and sirens and all, ahead of the team bus. The bus was followed by another jeep behind it, behind which was said to be a second, empty 'decoy' bus.

Impressive but what kind of a decoy bus follows the real one a jeep-length behind? The non-decoy bus was probably added onto the travelling party in case the real bus had a breakdown in traffic. Bringing up the rear was not one but two ambulances, the last one clearly marked as an "intensive cardiac care ambulance". When manager Richie Richardson wanted to stay back at the Palam ground to finish his interview with a reporter who offfered to drive him back to the hotel, the security men would have none of it. No one from the West Indies tour party was allowed to travel with 'civilians'. The interview it was decided would be finished at the hotel, where the security men agreed to let the reporter in.

All very pucca, but one element of a high-profile cavalcade was missing: the fire engine. Or does everyone really believe, that the West Indians aren't really the kind to start any fires?

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Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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