M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk turned a fortress on Sunday morning ahead of the crucial tie between hosts India and West Indies. A three-tier security was in place apart from personnel of Army and Coast Guard, who were kept on standby in case of an emergency.
Crowds pour in
Cricket-lovers started pouring into the stadium from 11.30 a.m. itself and were subjected to thorough checks before heading inside. Roads near the stadium were blocked for vehicular traffic from 11 a.m. and heavy police presence could be seen.
Sale of match tickets in black was visible in some locations near the stadium such as Bells Road and near the Chepauk MTRS station parking area.
“I purchased a Rs. 1,000 ticket for Rs. 3,500. I saw many trying for these black tickets,” said K. Prasanth from T.Nagar, near Gate no 18 on Bells Road.
Police arrested nine persons on Sunday morning on charges of selling match tickets for higher prices.
They were booked under Chennai City Police Act and were released after being penalised.
Tough security was in place inside the stadium with city police personnel, members of Quick Reaction Team and State commandos pressed into duty.
Aruna Nithyanandhan who went to stands near Victoria Hostel to watch the match along with her mother felt the frisking was heavy this time. “I had come here for matches many times earlier but today it was like entering a fortress. Even paper displays with boundary and six runs were also not allowed in some stands,” said the youngster.
Even staff members of the stadium were subjected to thorough frisking and their movements in and out the stadium was restricted. “I have come out for a coffee after pleading with the policemen,” added a Madras Cricket Club contract worker at a tea-shop Bells Road.
Keywords: 2011 cricket world cup