A grand reception awaits members of the Indian and West Indies cricket teams arriving in the city on Tuesday afternoon for the One-Day International series opener to be held at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium at Kaloor on Thursday.

The teams led by M.S. Dhoni and Darren Sammy will be given a traditional welcome at Kochi international airport. They will be received by Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) office-bearers led by president T.C. Mathew.

Both teams are expected to hit the ground for practice on Wednesday. While the Indian team will practise in the morning, their rivals are likely to do so in the afternoon. The match will be the first of the series featuring five ODI matches.

The police and the KCA have put in place elaborate security arrangements at the stadium. The stadium premises will be under CCTV surveillance. A 300-member private security group has been enlisted for ticket inspection and crowd control. The ground will be separated from the gallery by nets to prevent spectators from throwing bottles into the playing area.

A fire and rescue team of 60 members and five fire tenders will be deployed at the stadium on the day of the match. Mr. Mathew said a 50-member strong disaster management team would be entrusted with meeting any emergency.

A meeting chaired by Inspector General of Police (Ernakulam Range) K. Padmakumar will be held on Tuesday evening to assess the security situation.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) curator Dhiraj Parsana, who inspected the pitch at Kaloor stadium, said it was a belter, ensuring a run feast for cricket fans. The pitch was prepared by a team led by KCA curator P.V. Ramachandran.

Tickets for the match will be available from stadium counters from Tuesday. Counters could not operate on Monday owing to a hartal in the State. Five counters will operate in the stadium premises between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. till Wednesday. Tickets will also be available at the Palarivattom branch of Federal Bank till Wednesday.

Air-conditioned box tickets will cost Rs. 3,000, vantage chair Rs. 2,000, premium chair Rs. 1,000, ordinary chair Rs. 500 and gallery tickets Rs. 200.

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