Ranji spectators turned away in Bangalore
While domestic matches in India are not known to fill seats in stadiums in the bigger cities, the first day of the Karnataka-Delhi Ranji Trophy match in Bangalore actually had the few spectators who showed up turned away; security has been tightened around the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the lead-up to the Twenty20 between India and Pakistan on December 25.
A top Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) told ESPNcricinfo that the stadium has been handed over to the police, who have the final say on letting spectators in. He added that it is possible for a spectator to watch the Ranji Trophy game in select stands, but will have to furnish personal information to convince the security team. It will also help if the spectator is a member of the adjoining KSCA club or can get authorised by a member.
The issue came to light when a fan, posting on ESPNcricinfo's Ranji Trophy blog, said he was not allowed entry. The ongoing match, against Delhi, will be the only Karnataka game affected by these security arrangements, as they play their next two home games in Mysore and Hubli.
Such security arrangements are likely to be employed in Delhi too, and so their next home Ranji game, from December 15, will probably not be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla which is the venue for the final India-Pakistan ODI on January 6.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo