As the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) returns to its home ground after two years, the MA Chidambaram Stadium has come under a thick security blanket amidst fears of protestors disrupting the match demanding the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board. An elaborate security arrangement has been put in place by the Chennai Police to avoid any untoward incidents. A four-tier security ring along with 2000 policemen have been deployed on duty for the cricket match. Commando forces, rapid action force have also been kept on standby.
Several political parties have demanded cancellation, shifting of the matches from Chennai to show solidarity with the Cauvery cause. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI), made it clear that the match will go ahead as per schedule. Strict advisories have been issued to the spectators with restrictions on banners, flags, mobile phones, camera and water bottles among many others. Additional Commissioner MC Sarangan will oversee all the security arrangements in the stadium.
He will be assisted by a team of 3 Commissioners, 13 Deputy Commissioner, 1000 Police personnel from city police, 1000 from armed reserve force and 200 personnel from intelligence and bomb disposal squads. Police personnel will be deployed in vantage points inside and outside the stadium. Security has been stepped up at the private hotels where the players of the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkatta Knight Riders are staying with strict access control. In a bid to prevent protestors from staging protests, all roads leading to the stadium will be blocked by 5 pm.Alternate traffic arrangements have been announced by the traffic police as well.
A group of student’s federation, directors from Kollywood industry and fringe parties have announced for a protest on Anna Salai at 5 pm today condemning the IPL match. Director BharatiRajaa says the match is a distraction from the Cauvery protest. He adds that “the conduct of match at this time is inappropriate when there is an uprising of the youth on Cauvery issue in the state”.
The CSK franchise has left no stone unturned to ensure a smooth outing for the team ahead of its first match. With an audience of 33500 at the MA Chepauk stadium, the team expects fans to support them in the home match. Tickets for the first match were sold out in a few hours after the counters opened. However, the steep prices were a dampener for die-hard ans.A total of 7 matches are scheduled for Chennai.