Tight security at Chepauk as India play Windies Sunday

Chennai: Cricket returns to Chennai as India play West Indies in the final T20 match tomorrow. As a precautionary measure, city police have laid out a three-tier security arrangement around the M A Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk.

Sources said there will be vehicle checks at six points to prevent anti-social elements from disrupting the game. Apart from local police, a quick reaction commando force will be inside and outside the stadium.

A senior police official said, “A three-layer bundobust will take care of the security inside the stadium, outside and the playground. A large contingent of 1,000 police and commando personnel is being deployed for the match that begins at 7 pm.”

There was chaos and confusion when a match happened at Chepauk the last time. During the IPL match between CSK and KKR 10 April, various self-proclaimed Tamil outfits, calling for the establishment of the Cauvery Management Board, staged a protest.

Arterial Anna Salai was blocked just hours before the start of the cricket match. Protesters began to march from Anna Salai towards the stadium via Wallajah Road and they were stopped by the police. Some protesters released black balloons.

During the match, at least four people who threw slippers into the ground were detained. CSK was eventually forced to shift its matches from Chepauk to Pune.

However, things are different today. There is no protests or threats to stall the match. But the police are taking no chances. “We will maintain strict vigil. Quick reaction commando force and special investigation team will keep a close watch on spectators,” said a source.

SQUAD

The Indian team management has tweaked the squad for the third and final Twenty20 International by resting some of the key players.

Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav have been given rest from the final T20I while Siddarth Kaul finds a place in the squad.

Yuzvendra Chahal, who has not yet played a T20I match against the Windies, might find a place in the playing XI now with Kuldeep, the other wrist spinner, rested.

Chennai fans will miss Dhoni, the CSK skipper, who has been ruled out of the T20 team. “We missed IPL action in Chepauk due to protest over the Cauvery issue. We were hoping to see Dhoni back in action this time. The selectors have disappointed us by not including him in the team. He is at his best. He is agile, and hard-hitting skills have not vanished. Wonder why he is not chosen. I will not watch the match against Windies tomorrow,” says Akil, a CSK fan.

India has already won the T20I series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead. So, there won’t be much interest in the match. However, we are happy to have an international match here, say fans in a chorus.

WATCH OUT FOR
* Rohit Sharma
* Dinesh Karthik
* Khaleel Ahmed
* Krunal Pandya
* Pollard

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Only one T20 International was played in Chepauk before. On 11 September 2012, India took on New Zealand. The hosts lost by just one run. Brendon McCullum scored 91 for the Kiwis.

NT Bureau