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‘Enthusiasm for first international cricket match in Doon marred by mismanagement’

Surpassing all speculation about a possible low turnout in the first international cricket match held at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday, locals came out in large numbers to enjoy the game between Afghanistan and Bangladesh

dehradun Updated: Jun 04, 2018 22:09 IST
Kalyan Das
Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times
Afghanistan, which has chosen Dehradun as their home ground for the next five years, is hosting Bangladesh.(Vinay Santosh Kumar//HT)

Surpassing all speculation about a possible low turnout in the first international cricket match held at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday, locals came out in large numbers to enjoy the game between Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

However, some mismanagement on part of organisers seemed to have marred that enthusiasm of the city’s cricket lovers.

Apart from some mismanagement, many spectators claimed that some people were selling edibles and water bottles inside the stadium at skyrocket price.

Media persons especially those from Bangladesh faced a lot of problems as they could not write match report due to lack of proper internet connectivity near their desk.

About 19,000 spectators turned out for the first of the three match T20 series between Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the 25,000 capacity stadium.

Afghanistan is hosting Bangladesh in Dehradun which has been chosen by them as their home ground for the next five years.

Himanshu Thakur, a class 12 student, had come to watch the match along with his 60 friends from Telpur area of the city. Speaking to HT, he said he thoroughly enjoyed the match but was disappointed with fleecing by eatable sellers.

“It was the first match in Dehradun, so as a cricket lover, I obviously had to come to watch the match. The match was superb but when it came to facilities like drinking water and eatables, we were hugely disappointed. A ₹20 water bottle cost me ₹50 inside the stadium,” he said.

Sachin Paswan, 19, echoed the views of Himanshu. “Not only prices of eatables but we were also disappointed with the distance one had to walk to reach the stadium. Police stopped our vehicles and made to park them at a distance of 3 km from the stadium,” said Sachin.

Mazhar-uddin Omi, representing The Daily Star newspaper of Bangladesh, told HT: “We were told that the stadium is a state-of-the-art one standing on all the international parameters. But what came out on the match day, we doubt the claims.”

There was not a single power outlet below the desk to charge laptops and gadgets, he said, adding internet connectivity was also very poor.

When HT contacted sports and youth affairs secretary Bhupinder Kaur on the issue, she said the stadium was new and there may be some small loopholes.

“These small things don’t matter. The match was successfully organised and was a big achievement for the state. As far as some loopholes are concerned, IL&FS, the private company responsible for managing the stadium, is yet to fully takeover it. Once it takes the full charge, we are sure these issue would be solved,” said Kaur.

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 22:09 IST