While the UP blasts have put cops on high alert, the private security guards deployed here too are leaving no stone unturned in beefing up the security cover.
In fact, the security around the Ferozeshah Kotla is so tight that even Delhi Police personnel have started lamenting about it. “It’s just too much today,” said one, adding, “I wanted to bring my children along but haven’t been able to, because of the security.”
A DDCA official too aired the same opinion. “I guess the crowd is because of heightened security measures. Forget the cops, even private security guards are putting up their best. They just won’t let you in without a thorough check,” he said.
In spite of all these measures, however, Saturday ensured a good turnout by afternoon, being an off day for most office goers. The headcount could well have swelled to 25,000 by the evening.
NCC cadets on duty
The morning rush and heavy traffic near the ground would have certainly given the traffic cops a headache. But that was certainly not the case with the NCC cadets on duty. For a few days now, the cadets have been distributing leaflets with important safety instructions. They even go the extra yard and put up stickers with safety norms on all public transport plying through the area.
Many were seen instructing the commuters about following safety rules. The leaflet also had a thought-provoking line: “Life doesn’t give a second chance.”
Yet another trick from Akhtar
The entertainer that he is, Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday decided to come up with yet another from his bag of tricks. Sitting on the sidelines with Murali Kartik, he decided to put the toy tiger he was training with to better use. He placed it on Murali’s lap, thus attracting all the attention he desired. Later, the camaraderie between the two was even flashed on the large screens put up at the stadium.
Ray Mali at the Kotla
Among the big names at the Kotla on Saturday was ICC president Ray Mali. Along with his wife Peggy, Mali was seen at the Old Club House stand. Though he managed to keep the enthusiastic reporters at bay, his wife wasn’t so lucky. The reporters caught up with her and she didn’t disappoint them either, answering a few queries.
Her favourite cricketer turned out to be Rahul Dravid, but she found Test matches rather boring. “They should be jazzed up like the T20 games… it adds fun to the game."