Police quiz journalists covering Test match

April 13th, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by admin  

(Cricket Diary)
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Kanpur, April 13 (IANS) Some outstation journalists covering the third India-South Africa Test here got a rude shock when the police knocked at their hotel rooms at night for what the authorities said was a “routine check”. The policemen quizzed all the journalists staying at Kanha Continental Hotel in a posh locality on the Grand Trunk Road without prior intimation.

“Two armed policemen knocked at my room. They asked me several questions, like why we were in Kanpur and why for seven days at a stretch,” said one journalist.

“It is surprising that no one from the hotel management accompanied them. When we asked the hotel, they said the police visited their hotel regularly. It was surely not a convincing answer,” said the journalist.

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Police relent after shopkeepers protest

It transpires that before the Test match began, the police asked all shop owners on the top two floors of the Som Dutt Plaza, adjacent to the team hotel, to shut their businesses during play. But after protests, the police relented.

“The police asked the shopkeepers not to open their shops for seven days until the Test ends April 15. But when we strongly protested, they allowed us to open the shops during the match also,” one shopkeeper told IANS.

The move, he said, was unprecedented. He had never seen the police asking shops to close during international matches.

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Where is Kumble?

Captain Anil Kumble’s whereabouts became a talking point at the Green Park Stadium after he was seen leaving the team hotel early Sunday.

A news channel caught Kumble, who is not playing in the match due to a groin injury, leaving the hotel with his luggage. Another channel said he was headed for Bangalore.

But Kumble apparently returned to the hotel. A cricket board official confirmed that he would stay put in Kanpur till the end of the match.

In Kumble’s absence, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is leading India for the first time in a Test.

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