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India vs Sri Lanka: Tight security arrangements in protest-hit Guwahati

As India all set to commence its fourth bilateral T20I series in this home season against Sri Lanka from Sunday (January 5), the Board of Control in India (BCCI) and the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) are leaving no stone unturned to provide full-proof security arrangements for both the teams Guwahati after the city witnessed widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in past few weeks.

The Sri Lankan cricket team, led by veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, arrived in the town on Thursday (January 2) whereas the members of the Indian team have travelled in batches to reach the North Eastern state on Friday (January 3). Meanwhile, the visitors have skipped the practice session today but the home team has a scheduled optional training session in the evening at the Barsapara stadium.

The local authorities have provided thick security cover in the team hotel and the players are advised not to go outside. Last month due to the CAA protests and curfew Ranji Trophy and Under-19 matches at the domestic level were affected here. However, according to ACA, the situation is under control now.

“[The] situation is absolutely normal now and tourism is back in the state. We are hosting Khelo India Games from January 10 and about seven thousand players will participate,” ACA secretary Devajit Saikia told PTI.

“It’s now safe as any other place in the country. The state government is looking after the security arrangement and there’s no issue at all

“About 27,000 tickets of the 39,500-capacity Barasapra Stadium has already been sold out. People were busy with the Christmas and New Year celebrations. We are expecting a last-minute ticket rush now,” he further added.

From Guwahati, the caravan of the three-match series will move to Indore, where the second game will be played on January 7 while Pune will host the final match on January 10.

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!


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