Mumbai Police ask for India’s first T20I against West Indies to be moved

Indian cricketers in training. (Source: AP Photo)

Ahead of West Indies touring India in December, the fate of the first of three T20Is between them scheduled on December 6 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai hangs in balance, because of police intervention.

According to Hindustan Times, the Mumbai police expressed their inability to deploy sufficient security cover to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for the match that day. December 6 marks the first anniversary of Babri Masjid's demolition after the Supreme Court's historic Ayodhya verdict and also the death anniversary of Dr. Babasahed Ambedkar too, for which thousands come together to celebrate 'Mahaparinirvan Divas'.

"A Mumbai police representative had come to share the ground situation in our Apex Council meeting today. Senior MCA officials have sought time to meet the Commissioner of Police Sanjay Barve tomorrow where more clarity would be provided, if the match is possible on the scheduled date or not,” said an MCA official.

“We have conveyed to the MCA that on December 6 we are quite pre-occupied as far as the deployment of security bandobast is concerned. No meeting of association officials with either CP or jt CP (law & order) has been held so far but will be held soon. The dialogue is on with them and after the meeting a final decision would be taken,” a senior police officer said.

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Usually, around 1200 police personnel and 300 traffic personnel are needed for an international match in Mumbai. To come up with a solution for the dilemma, MCA officials have apparently suggested to the police that they be allowed to stage the match with around 25 percent police force. The rest is to be made up of private security personnel.

"But any such move would need the go-ahead from Mumbai police and modalities can only be worked out after meeting with senior police officials," added the MCA official.

If Mumbai does end up not hosting the match on that day, MCA is exploring the possibility of swapping the third T20 with Hyderabad, which is scheduled to be on December 11.

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India will engage themselves in a three-match T20I series and a three-match ODI series against West Indies in December, before embarking on a tough tour of New Zealand next year where India will play five T20Is, three ODIs, and two Test matches.

The Indian team is scheduled to play the T20Is in Mumbai (December 6), Thiruvananthapuram (December 8), and Hyderabad (December 11). The three ODIs will be played in Chennai (December 15), Visakhapatnam (December 18) and Cuttack (December 22).