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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Pune spectator takes to Twitter to expose MCA’s double standards on smoking ban

With no shades over the stands, many announcements and do’s and don’ts listed by the stadium authorities add misery to spectators

pune Updated: Oct 12, 2019 15:46 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
With no shades available on East, West and South stands of the MCA stadium, visitors, mostly schoolchildren were seen occupying space below flood lights stands to avoid overhead sun.
With no shades available on East, West and South stands of the MCA stadium, visitors, mostly schoolchildren were seen occupying space below flood lights stands to avoid overhead sun. (HT/PHOTO)
         

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium was again caught on the wrong foot when a spectator tweeted photos of people smoking on stadium premises. The association has banned smoking throughout the stadium.

Former Maharashtra speedster Pandurang Salgaonkar, who looks after the pitch and ground preparation in Gahunje stadium, faced criticism when the Test between India and Australia in February 2017 lasted only three days and, four months later, Salgaonkar was caught in a sting operation on pitch fixing before the India-New Zealand ODI on the same ground.

“The rules at the MCA stadium are only made for common people while elites are smoking with ease. For people like us who came to watch the match are facing various tantrums from organisers – firstly while entering the stadium they are not even allowing visitors to carry medicines. Diabetic patients have to throw their injections before entering the stands,” said Harshad Barve, a spectator at MCA stadium who tweeted the photo post lunch on day 2.

With no shades over the stands, many announcements and do’s and don’ts listed by the stadium authorities add misery to spectators.

“At every hour announcements are made that smoking is not allowed and yet people are smoking with ease. My question is not to these people who were smoking, but I twitted because I want the Prime Minister Office and Amit Shah to know how things are happening at the stadium,” said Barve, who tagged PMOIndia and AmitShah in his tweet along with BCCI and Pune City Police.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Cricket Association officials were unavailable for comment despite many attempts.

Unshaded seats only option available for spectators

Bright sunshine on day 2 of the Test made things easier for Indian batsmen in the middle, but spectators were seen looking for shade in the stadium.

With no shades available on East, West and South stands of the stadium, visitors were seen occupying space below flood lights stands to avoid sun.

From 11 am till 2 pm, most of the spectators, including school kids, preferred shade over seats.

“In the morning, we sat on the front seats, but the overhead sun forced us to seek the shades of flood lights,” said a teacher requesting anonymity.

Once the sun was bearable, people got back to their seats to enjoy the Indian batting.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 20:51 IST

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