Fans won’t be able to carry posters, banners or even placards inside the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, the venue of the first T20I between India and Sri Lanka to be played on Sunday.
Assam Cricket Association’s (ACA) secretary Devajit Sarkar said the instructions have nothing to do with the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which has resulted in curfew, internet shutdowns and loss of life in the state. “Everybody is concerned, not just the people of Assam. This is an international event and will have heightened security measures. We have to be prepared,” Saikia was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The placards displaying 4 and 6 have reportedly being disallowed as they can be used for ‘surrogate advertisements’. No pens, markers will be allowed as well.
“Whatever security protocol we have to follow, we are. Nothing more, nothing less. No situation arose where the ACA or the BCCI were skeptical about holding this match. Following a timeline we have prepared for this for a month. That is why we are so relaxed,” Saikia said.
For ACA, the match also presents an opportunity to present their case for hosting this season’s Indian Premier League matches as Rajasthan Royals have expressed interests in playing few of their games in Guwahati.
Expecting a full house come Sunday, ACA has requested the fans to “behave very nicely because people from outside, other states will watch us and say spectators are very well behaved.”
India and Sri Lanka will play in a three-match T20I series the first of which will be played on Sunday before the action moves to Indore (January 7) and Pune (January 10).