New Delhi: The much anticipated India-New Zealand series opener in Kanpur faced distinct possibility of playing in front of empty stands as the scourge of dengue has taken the joy out of north Indian city.
According to reports, the spurt of dengue reached an alarming level with at least 811 people, including 309 police personnel, testing positive for the vector-borne disease.
In a report, Hindustan Times claimed that among the affected are cops overlooking security arrangements for the Test. In fact, Additional Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Srivastava has also been hospitalised for about two weeks.
“No fogging has been done in or around the stadium as of now,” an official of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) told Hidustan Times.
The stadium is surrounded by filth, especially the waste of building materials, and even UPCA secretary Rajeev Shukla had ordered the stadium to be cleaned during a recent visit to the venue last week.
It further said that, only 3,000 tickets have been sold so far out of the 13,500 earmarked for fans, despite the fact that a Test is being played here after a gap of almost seven years.
“The UPCA has already made the district administration and health department aware but nothing has been done so far,” said the official, adding, “In case, fans don’t turn up during the match, UPCA has plans to give free entry to school and college students to avoid a no-fan situation during the match.”
New Zealand cricket team has already arrived in India for a long tour, which includes three Tests and five One-Day International matches.
The Kane Williamson-led side looking for a historic first Test series win in India, while Virat Kohli & Co are pushing to reclaim the top spot in ranking.
The first Test at Kanpur's Green Park starts on September 22.