Pakistan team arrives for SF, hotel turned into fortress


Senator (1k+ posts)
The Pakistan cricket team arrived in Chandigarh on Friday evening to play their high-voltage World Cup semi-final match against India at Mohali on March 30. No sooner the team landed in Chandigarh, the hotel here where the team is staying was turned into a fortress. The Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan team, which had the West Indies in their quarter-final in Mirpur, reached here after a brief halt at Delhi.

The team members, coah Waqar Younis and manager Intikhab Alam, quietly slipped into their rooms at Hotel Taj here.

The team will have an extended practice session at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium, about 12 km from here, tomorrow.

The Indian team is also scheduled to reach here on Saturday.

Meanwhile, tight security has been put in and around Hotel Taj here where both the teams are staying.

"Nearly 1,000 cops have been deployed for the security of the teams and officials," Chandigarh's SSP (Security), H S Doon said.

Asked about reports of terrorists planning to strike at the ongoing cricket World Cup venues, Doon said, "We are aware of this. We are not taking any chances with the security and even the teams have been asked to strictly adhere to the guidelines."

He said the teams had also been asked to give four-hour advance notice to the concerned security official if any member wanted to go out of the hotel so that adequate safety measures could be taken well in advance.

"We also want to ensure that there is no security concern about the place where any team member wants to visit," Doon said, adding they had written to the ICC and BCCI about alleged security violations by some officials of the West Indian cricket team when they were here recently to play their league match against Ireland.

He said it was for the first time that a jammer had also been included in the team's security.

The Mohali stadium has also been sealed and nearly 2,000 cops would be deployed in and around the PCA stadium on match-day as part of foolproof security measures, a Punjab police official said.

Police sources said that adequate security would also be ensured for the visiting Pakistani fans.