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January 24, 2007
The manhandling of Greg Chappell at Bhubaneshwar airport and reports of a threat to the security of the Indian players could jeopardise the future of Cuttack's Barabati Stadium as an international venue, the Indian board (BCCI) has said.
Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, feared that the stadium could be blacklisted as the ICC has strict guidelines on venues as far as security is concerned and has a zero-tolerance policy when such incidents take place.
"This kind of incident should not have happened. I fear that such an incident at a venue may lead to that venue being banned under the ICC law," Pawar told PTI. "Therefore this incident is unfortunate for Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Fortunately the Chief Minister of the state and Sports Minister, whom I spoke to, have started taking corrective action."
Chappell, the India coach, was slapped on the back by an angry fan on Monday when the team arrived in Bhubaneshwar for the second one-day international in Cuttack. The attacker, a member of a fringe political outfit in Orissa known as the Kalinga Kamgar Sena, was protesting against the non-inclusion of any Orissa player in the Indian team and was immediately arrested, while 50 others were detained. The security at the airport seemed inadequate as police struggled to control the hundreds of fans who had gathered for the team's arrival. The BCCI requested that the security for the teams be beefed up and the police announced that the players would be given Z-Category security.
This is the second time in less than a year that the future of a staging venue has been questioned. Last April, crowd trouble erupted during a one-day international between India and England at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati after the umpires abandoned the game without a ball being bowled. The police had to fire tear gas shells to break up the mob and the ICC demanded an inquiry into the incidents.
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