The protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) notwithstanding, the third and final One-Day International between India and West Indies is scheduled to be played in Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium on Sunday (December 22).
Players of both the teams reached Bhubaneshwar on Thursday (December 19) for the series-deciding game of the three-match ODI series amidst tight security by platoons of the armed police force.
The state police have deployed at least 63 platoons (one platoon comprise 30 personnel) of the police force and a Rapid Action Force contingent comprising 300 officers to maintain law and order situation before and during the match.
The players and team management who are residing in a fortified hotel in the state capital were seen travelling with a full security cover to the venue for their practice sessions.
Apart from opening a police camp in front of the hotel where the players are being lodged, the police had undertaken a mock drill of the carcade before the arrival of teams.
Though the excitement this match has generated among cricket lovers is unmatched as the home squad is coming to compete after a 107-run victory in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam, the viewer turnout could be lesser than expected earlier.
India, who are eyeing their 10th straight bilateral series win against the Carribean side, would want to achieve the feat in front of a full stadium. However, due to the ongoing anti-CAA protests in the country, the viewership and the audience turnout could see a downfall.
While protests continue to create turmoil in the nation and in the state, Star Sports and other national broadcasters are working on the schedule and prepping up for the match.
Meanwhile, in Kolkata, the Indian Premier League auctions 2020 went off smoothly even after peaceful protests turned violent and could hamper the event.
Former cricketer Harbhajan Singh while requesting students to maintain peace, tweeted, “All I am saying is maintain the peace..this should stop it’s not doing good for anyone.i am sure there are other ways to solve this issue rather then being violent.. it’s a request to you all students and police and authorities(sic).”
According to a report in The Times of India, tourism in Odisha was badly hit due to trains getting cancelled in the neighbouring states of West Bengal, Bihar and other states.
This could also mean that fans might refrain from travelling to Cuttack to witness the clash which starts at 1:30 PM tomorrow.