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Barabati pitches for 22-yard war

Cuttack, Jan. 30: The Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) is making elaborate arrangements for nearly 16,000 spectators at Barabati Stadium where Pakistan is scheduled to play all its matches.

Spectators have to go through a three-tier security system to enter the stadium.

“Following International Cricket Council (ICC) norms, spectators are instructed not to carry transistors, mirrors, crackers, glass, plastic bottles, water pouches, bags, helmets and other sharp objects inside the stadium,” said OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera.

Arrangements have also been made for another 3,000 to 4,000 special invitees, who can witness the matches from corporate and pavilion boxes at Barabati.

Behera said though they were expecting around 10,000 spectators (gallery No. 1 and 2), the 6,000 capacity gallery No. 7 would be opened in case more people turn up.

At the Driems ground in Tangi, arrangements are being made to accommodate around 5,000 spectators to watch matches featuring Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Officials expect the matches with Pakistan to generate more response from the people across the state, especially youngsters.

The OCA agreed to co-host the World Cup even though the Pakistan women’s team was facing a threat perception in the wake of tension along the Line of Control. The decision evoked widespread protests in the twin cities with the Bajrang Dal threatening to damage the pitches at both venues.

However, OCA’s keenness to host the tournament is sure to boost the image of the state association and it just might get the opportunity to host bigger ICC tournaments in the future.

“The OCA has managed to put up decent arrangements for the Pakistani players at OCA club within four days. We hope to be considered for hosting more international games as well as Test matches in Odisha,” Behera said.

The OCA today announced a cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh for the state women’s cricket team following their four-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second warm up match at Barabati Stadium today.

The victory of the local side is being viewed as a significant achievement for Odisha girls. “We will be awarding Rs 2.5 lakh to the state players and five other team officials to acknowledge their outstanding performance against the international team,” said Behera.

Batting first, Pakistan were bundled out 154 runs in 50 overs with Bismah Mahroof being the leading scorer with 44 runs. In reply, Odisha-XI chased the target with seven balls to spare.

“It is great comeback of the team after being defeated in the first practice match with a huge margin of 95 runs. The victory has boosted our morale and restored confidence in us that we can take on an international team,” said a jubilant Odisha skipper Madhusmita Behera.

This morning, the Australian and New Zealand teams arrived in the capital and are putting up in Bhubaneswar hotels. Pakistan will take on Australia in the first match of Group B on February 1.

Both the teams will practice at the Barabati nets on the eve of their first clash.

Car park

Two parking lots in front of Kila Maidan

Don’t carry

Water bottles, pouches, helmets, bags, cameras, crackers, transistors, sharp or glass objects, mirrors, lighters, matchsticks and other objects that could be thrown as a missile into the ground

Amenities

Water filters at different points inside the stadium
Vendors will sell popcorn, jhaal-mudhi, biryani and puri-aloo curry

Security

Forty-five platoons of police force, anti-terrorist squad, bomb squad
OCA has installed 55 CCTV cameras
All activities at Barabati will be monitored from Cuttack DCP’s office