Police assures of security for ODI, T20 against England
Kolkata: In a temporary reprieve for the Cricket Association of Bengal, the Kolkata Police on Friday gave security assurance for the upcoming ODI and T20 matches between India and England in October.
However, the Kolkata police maintained that they would not be able to provide security for the Champions League Twenty20 matches scheduled on October as it is clashing with the beginning of Durga puja festivities.
Hence the fate of two CLT20 matches, which are clashing with Durga puja festvities on October 1, hangs in balance with CAB now thinking to refer the matter to the BCCI.
A senior Kolkata police official said they would work alongside private security agency to provide the security arrangements for the two international matches involving England.
"But we cannot provide security for the CLT20 matches on October 1. We will have severe staff crunch once the jurisdiction is extended. With Durga puja beginning during that time, we cannot arrange adequate security," the police official said.
With their jurisdiction set to extend from September 1, the Kolkata Police yesterday had told CAB that they cannot afford to provide adequate security for the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 and India-England matches which are clashing with the festive season of Durga Puja and Diwali.
"The jurisdiction of the Kolkata Police would be extended to the municipal corporation limits from September 1. They told us that their manpower, however, would remain the same.”
"Hence, they cannot afford to provide extra security during the matches scheduled during the Durga Puja and Diwali," CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey said after a meeting with the Kolkata Police on Thursday.
"The restructuring will take about three years` time, the Kolkata Police said. Does that mean the Eden will not have any match during that time?" Dey asked.
The Eden, which lost out on India`s only World Cup match earlier this year because of lack of preparation, has a packed calendar ahead beginning with six matches of the Champions League T20 from September 25-October 1.
The Eden then will host an ODI (October 25) and a T20 (October 29) in the upcoming England series.
Out of the six CLT20 matches, two are scheduled on same day -- October 1 -- which is clashing with the Durga Puja festival.
The police has also raised objection on the India vs England ODI on the eve of Diwali.
Incidentally, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has already rescheduled the fifth and final one-dayer between India and England which was originally scheduled on October 26.
However, there is a ray of hope as the Kolkata Police has not emphatically said in the negative.
"If they tell us in writing that they cannot provide security, than we will knock on the West Bengal chief minister`s door. It will really be embarrassing if we lose the matches because of security concerns," Dey said.