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Bangalore change plans, to stay in Delhi now

Concern about the security after the Jaipur blasts, Bangalore team, who have a match with Jaipur team, will come to Jaipur only after the situation has been assessed. G Krishnan reports.

cricket Updated: May 15, 2008 02:00 IST
G Krishnan

Under pressure for having under-performed, the last thing the Bangalore team wanted was to play toppers Jaipur in Jaipur on Saturday with fear in their minds.

Tuesday’s blasts have already led to a change in travel plan for the bottom-ranked team which has lost seven of its nine games. Bangalore came to New Delhi for two nights on Wednesday and will come to Jaipur only after the situation has been assessed. Originally, they were scheduled to reach Jaipur on Wednesday night.

With the IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi not entertaining Bangalore's offer to host the game, the match here on Saturday is on as of now. The Bangalore franchise also sent a security officer on Wednesday to assess the situation. Team CEO Brijesh Patel too will arrive on Thursday to take stock.

“We have been assured extra protection by the Rajasthan Chief Minister and Home Minister. We are sending a security officer to assess the situation and the additional measures taken for the team’s safety” Patel told HT from Bangalore on Wednesday.

In a release on Wednesday, Modi “wholeheartedly” condemned the attack and said with security being beefed up, no bags will be allowed in the stadium now.

Prasad for shifting match

Bangalore coach Venkatesh Prasad too censured the act of cowardice but said it was in everybody's interest that the match was played in Bangalore. Talking to HT from Chandigarh, Prasad said: “We need to be sensible and sensitive in the whole issue. When people are suffering and coping with life after the blasts, we are having an entertainment in the form of a cricket match.

“I don’t know how the people of Jaipur would take it. It will be good if the match is played to Bangalore, which is safe for all concerned,” Prasad said.

“I do condemn the blasts and feel really sad to see Jaipur go through all the pain. There would be some sort of fear among the players when they are playing. We need to understand the sentiments of the people who are suffering.”

Down but not out

Prasad said that the boys were sad after their latest loss, by nine wickets to Mohali on Monday night. “They are disappointed, of course. But they are giving of their best while playing and during preparations.

The mindset of the players has to be understood. Everyone wants to win. One need not over-react to the losses. It is during these times that the players need support from all concerned, especially the franchise. It is easy to criticise,” Prasad said.

Meanwhile, The Jaipur and Bangalore teams will wear black armbands during their match on Saturday as a mark of respect towards the victims of serial blasts.

Not cowards: Pawar

Mumbai: BCCI president Sharad Pawar said matches in Jaipur will be held as scheduled. “The matches in Jaipur will be played in Jaipur,” Pawar said in Mumbai on Wednesday.

“We are not cowards to budge to such acts. I spoke to the home ministry and asked to them to provide necessary security for the matches, and they agreed.” Lalit Modi said Saturday’s game between Jaipur and Hyderabad will pay a tribute to the casualties.

“As a mark of tribute, the next match in Jaipur will not have any music and dancing,” Modi said.

With inputs from HTC/Mumbai