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Chaos, confusion reign at Green Park

Chaos and confusion welcomed both India and Pakistan at Kanpur as they could either practice nor have a media interaction on the eve of the third ODI.

cricket Updated: Nov 10, 2007 21:26 IST
Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Qaiser Mohammad Ali

It was perhaps for the first time in recent memory that the opposing teams, India and Pakistan, neither had a practice session nor the customary media conference Saturday on the eve of the third One-Day International here.

Pandemonium prevailed at the Green Park Stadium and the team hotel as media corps groped in the dark in the absence of any official communication, more so from the Indian camp. Pakistani officials were at least available to confirm that they were not informed about any press conference and that there would be none.

What added to the confusion was the two teams' late arrival. They reached around 5.30 p.m. after covering 90 kilometres from Lucknow, where they had landed from Chandigarh. The teams straightaway checked in at Landmark, which looked more like a fortress than a hotel because of the heavy police presence.

No Indian official was available to say whether or not any player or official would speak to the waiting media at the hotel lobby.

Russel Radhakrishnan, the logistics manager of the Indian team, looked busy as he made rounds of the lobby.

Asked if there would be any press briefing, Radhakrishnan told IANS: "I will let you know soon." He then entered the elevator for an Indian team meeting.

There was no media manager with the Indian team. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced in April that a media manager would be appointed for two years but no one has been appointed so far.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has two. One of them, Javed Akhtar, told IANS: "We are not aware of any media conference as no one has told us about it."

He said the Pakistani team had a practice session in Mohali before leaving.

A little after sunset, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, coach Geoff Lawson, manager Talat Ali, media managers Ahsan Malik and Akhtar visited the Green Park to see the pitch and the ground.

No one from the Indian camp visited the ground till the time their team meeting started at 6.30 p.m.

Before the meeting, the Indian team's physiotherapist John Gloster was heard requesting the receptionist at the hotel for a room on the same floor as the players.

First Published: Nov 10, 2007 21:20 IST