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Shootout disrupts RCB practice

The IPL bandwagon experienced from a distance how bad it could be on Tuesday when a case of armed robbery in broad daylight disrupted the Bangalore Royal Challengers’ practice session, report Atreyo Mukhopadhyay & Santosh Harhare.

cricket Updated: Apr 29, 2009 01:46 IST

Durban is not the safest of places for tourists after sunset. You are advised against walking and told to go out only in groups. Forced to relocate because of security, the IPL bandwagon experienced from a distance how bad it could be on Tuesday when a case of armed robbery in broad daylight disrupted the Bangalore Royal Challengers’ practice session.

It was around 11 am when the sound of frantic sirens filled the air around the Kingsmead. Those inside the stadium complex didn’t see anything but the sound of cars screeching and speeding suggested something was wrong. It was later learnt that burglars had broken into a shop nearby and, according to a local radio station, three policemen and a burglar were killed following exchange of fire. One person has been arrested.

Some of the Royal Challengers players including captain Kevin Pietersen were inside the park and the rest at the nets outside the main ground. The team’s own security officials told the players to leave the ground and asked everyone to get inside the enclosed area for net practice. The players seemed to be at a loss and Pietersen even tried catching a glimpse of what was happening outside without much success.

About half-a-dozen heavily armed policemen arrived in a short while and asked the team not to leave the ground since the miscreants were still being chased. It obviously caused a bit of tension but the players and the handful of other people inside the stadium were safe. The team bus later left for the hotel with escort cars.

It didn’t upset the plans of the Royal Challengers significantly and they went to the Chatsworth Oval — another stadium a little further from the team hotel than the Kingsmead — in the afternoon for a practice match among themselves. By then, things had become normal.