Silver city gears up for WC matches
Cuttack: The silver city has virtually turned into a fortress ahead of the arrival of the Pakistan women cricket players who will play the World Cup matches here at the Barabati stadium beginning February 1. While security has been stepped up at all the major points of the city, security personnel have kept a vigil eye on the route the players will take to reach the event venue from Bhubaneswar.
The Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) is also leaving no stone unturned to make the 11-day long event successful.
Inspecting the stadium on Sunday morning, along with DGP Prakash Mishra, additional DGP Sanjiv Marik, Police Commissioner Sunil Roy, DCP (Bhubaneswar) Nitinjit Singh, DCP (Cuttack) Pravin Kumar and OCA president Ranjib Biswal, OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera said that arrangements have been made for Pakistan players to stay in Cuttack.
“For security reasons, we have decided to facilitate boarding arrangement for the Pakistan players at the newly-built OCA club house inside the stadium. Players of the remaining three teams will be put in hotels in Bhubaneswar,” Behera said.
“Though there is no threat from any of the agitating groups, we don’t want to take a risk,” Behera added.
DGP Mishra also stated that the department was ready to provide foolproof security for Pakistan players.
“Like earlier matches, security has never been an issue, and this time we have made special security arrangement for the Pakistan players who will stay in the OCA club house,” Mishra said.
According to sources, players of the remaining three teams placed in Group B, in which Pakistan has also been listed, will stay in hotels in Bhubaneswar. While Pakistan will play all the matches in Barabati stadium, the matches involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will be played in DRIEMS ground, officials said.
“Once the Pakistan team arrives, we’ll get to know about the practice match scheduled for 29 January. If not, at least one such match will be played on 30th, Behera informed.
“Since Cuttack is best known as a city of brotherhood, I urge the spectators to maintain peace and harmony during the matches,” stated Behera.