SPORT

Broad, Koertzen stopped from entering Ferozeshah Kotla

SAFETY FIRST: Even the umpire Rudy Koertzen and Match Referee Chris Broad are no exceptions to the strict security routine. - PHOTO: S. SUBRAMANIUM

SAFETY FIRST: Even the umpire Rudy Koertzen and Match Referee Chris Broad are no exceptions to the strict security routine. - PHOTO: S. SUBRAMANIUM  

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee, Chris Broad, and umpire Rudi Koertzen got a taste of Delhi police treatment on Saturday. The two officials were stopped from entering Ferozeshah Kotla ground when they reached the stadium for regular inspection on the eve of the sixth and final one-day international cricket match between India and Pakistan here.

The Delhi police refused to recognise the accreditation cards issued to Mr. Broad and Mr. Koertzen by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The police cited security reasons for blocking their entry and relented only after officials of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) intervened.

Confusion prevailed at the Kotla a day before the high-profile match. People with valid passes were denied entry but policemen walked in freely. The TV crew, engaged in laying the cables for live telecast, had a tough time convincing the security personnel.

The mystery surrounding the pitch continued. The ground staff relentlessly used the roller all through the day amidst complete chaos at the venue.

The rival captains, Rahul Dravid and Inzamam-ul-Haq, spent 15 minutes at the ground and made no commitment regarding the pitch. Even though the Chairman of the BCCI's Grounds and Wicket Committee, Venkat Sundaram, offered 160 plus runs for the team batting first, the curator, Radhey Shyam, differed. "We hope it will produce a good match. We have done our best and expect the ball to carry. The bounce will be even and the outfield lightning fast," said the curator.

Of the mandatory two scoreboards, the organisers have managed to put up only one for Sunday's match.

UNI reports

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have asked the spectators to reach the stadium ``early and gain entry well before 8 a.m.". The spectators were advised to reach the stadium by 7 a.m. and take their seats in their specified enclosures by 8 a.m., a statement said.

The spectators were also advised not to carry ``anything'' to the venue as no binoculars, transistors, cell phones, cameras, hand bags, water bottles or any other container would be allowed.

Besides valid ticket, spectators were also asked to carry some proof of identity to help them gain a smooth entry.

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