The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Choking security greets players
- Third one-dayer

Jamshedpur: Choking security greeted the Indian and Pakistani players on their arrival here for the third ODI.

Immediately after they landed in Ranchi on the chartered flight, they were whisked away in a bus, virtually from the tarmac, through a chaotic road, full of Mahendra Singh Dhoni fanatics.

The huge police bandobast wasn't really effective even as over 60 motorcycle-borne fans chased the bus shouting their hero's name.

The 148 Dhoni scored in Visakhapatnam, leading to a fine Indian victory, has fired the imagination of the fans as their hero returned home. In the process, though, the players bore the brunt of the discomfort, with even the media being kept out of bounds.

Despite there being the opportunity of flying the players over to Jamshedpur, the general custom so far, they were taken by road, and the first 25 of the well over 100 km journey in the searing 3pm heat was marred by unruly supporters.

There was little scope even, for the players to answer to nature's call.

The road journey to Jamshedpur, the venue of the ODI, was done quickly, but then there was the problem of driving the thronging crowd away from near the team hotel.

Meanwhile, BCCI ground and pitch committee chairman Venkat Sundaram expressed satisfaction over the condition of Keenan pitch.

Sundaram was taken around the field where he spent some time to inspect the pitch and the ground.

He said both teams' management members were happy with the pitches. He said the grass in the outfield needed to be trimmed a bit.

'The condition of the Keenan wicket would be improved further as we still have three days in hand,' he said. He said the wicket will be batsmen-friendly.

Shoaib is 'back'

Meanwhile, in Karachi, Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar returned to competitive cricket with a bang by taking four for 22 in a domestic one-day competition, but the selection committee said it would not rush his return to international cricket, adds another report.

Shoaib had figures of 7-1-22-4 for Khan Research Laboratory, who beat SUI Gas by 83 runs in the third round of Patron's Cup one-day meet.

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