V. V. Subrahmanyam
HYDERABAD: The India-Australia ODI on Friday at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium promises to a high-voltage thriller.
And the HCA is going all out to ensure that it passes of peacefully.
HCA secretary N. Shivlal Yadav informed The Hindu that they not only insured the cricket match but also each and every spectator.
For the record, HCA insured the match for Rs. 8 crore . The feature of this insurance cover is that even if one ball is bowled the insurance company will not pay any amount to HCA. Effectively, it has to be a complete washout. And similarly, HCA will also not refund any money unless there is no play at all. And if everything goes well, the HCA expects revenue of Rs. 4.6 crore through gate money and in-stadia advertisements.
Making a mess
It was disgraceful to see the local media being made to run from the stadium to the hotel on getting last-minute information about Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s media briefing in the hotel room after being earlier told that both the teams will do that at the venue itself.
No wonder the Australian media manager was shocked to see only a handful of journalists in the near-empty hall.
But, he soon realised how his unprofessional local manager goofed it up. Ironically, HCA still struggles to find one competent official to handle the media’s basic requirements!
Mad rush for tickets
The mad rush for tickets continued till late evening. So much so that a Cabinet Minister’s personal assistant was hanging around in the hope of purchasing tickets as ordered by his boss.
That some top sports administrators in the State were asking their personal assistants to get hold of some tickets by paying cash is a reflection of how only a handful are the ‘privileged’ lot.
The security in and around the venue was unprecedented. So concerned were the cops that they summoned the curator Parthasarathy, who in turned sought Shivlal Yadav’s clarification, when the metal detectors made beeping sounds near the stumps. Only when Shivlal explained to them the presence of the cable connecting to the stump camera, they heaved a sigh of relief.