Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may be looking at Guwahati as a possible venue to host a World Cup match, Assam Cricket Association (ACA) President Taranga Gogoi said on Saturday.
Addressing the media ahead of the ODI match between India and Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held at the ACA Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on January 10, Taranga Gogoi remained hopeful that this was the BCCI testing the ACA's ability to successfully conduct an ODI match, with India all set to host the 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup in the final quarter of the year.
Apart from the ACA President, the joint presser was addressed by BCCI Joint Secretary Devajit Lon Saikia, Guwahati Commissioner of Police, Diganta Borah, Kamrup Metropolitan district Deputy Commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha and Guwahati Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Hiranya Kumar Barman.
Taranga Gogoi said, "ACA has taken all possible steps to ensure the smooth conduction of the game. Most people have this question regarding the use of our Guwahati stadium for hosting World Cup matches for the 2023 ODI World Cup. On that regard, I would like to mention that ACA has done and will continue to do everything to ensure that BCCI looks towards Guwahati as a possible destination."
He said, "I believe by handing us the opportunity to host this ODI match between India and Sri Lanka, BCCI is trying out our capability in hosting an ODI match. We are looking forward to hosting this match successfully and ask for the help of all citizens in ensuring that everything goes well."
The ACA President stated that ahead of the match, preparations are in full swing. "We have taken care of everything. From allotment of food vendors inside, purchasing of generators for electricity issues, fogging for mosquitoes and spraying of chemicals to keep snakes at bay, we are taking the opportunity very seriously and all hands are on deck," assured Gogoi.
Laying out more information on the table, the ACA President informed that players from both sides have started to arrive and the teams will be in Guwahati by tomorrow. He said, "After all the players arrive, there will be training sessions on Monday ahead of the match on Tuesday."
Moreover, speaking about ticket sales, Gogoi mention that around 22,000 to 23,000 tickets have been sold so far. "Ticket sales have gone well. Around 16,000 tickets have been sold in both online via BookMyShow and offline at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. On top of that, we have physically sent a total of 10,000 tickets to every district and many districts have reported the sale of 100 per cent tickets of their allotment."
He mentioned that spectators will not be allowed to enter with outside food or drinks. Responding to queries on overcharged food items and packaged drinking water, he assured that ACA would take punitive measures against any vendor who violated the norms. In relation to that, he also asked the spectators to video record any such violation, so that, if found guilty, those vendors could be blacklisted.
BCCI Joint Secretary, Devajit Saikia, said that this match is very crucial considering the fact that the ICC World Cup is fast approaching. He added that the match would be closely monitored, and if things went well, Assam Cricket Association may stand a chance to host a World Cup match. Therefore, he sought the support of all the stakeholders, including the public, to make this ODI a grand success. On behalf of ACA, he also expressed his gratitude to BCCI President Roger Binny and Secretary Jay Shah for allotting two international matches to Assam Cricket Association within a short span of four months.
Meanwhile, Kamrup Metro DC, Pallav Gopal Jha, informed that the spectators will be allowed to bring only wallets, mobile phones, car keys and the national flag without stick into the stadium.
Furthermore, Guwahati CP Diganta Borah said that adequate measures were taken to conduct the match peacefully, while ensuring the spectators enjoyed the match. At the same time, he informed that the gates to the stadium will be opened three hours before the match to avoid any possibility of rush. He also requested the public to drop the idea of bringing private cars and try to pool cars to avoid traffic snarls on the day.