Tickets in hand, fans wait outside full stadium in Mohali : The Tribune India

Tickets in hand, fans wait outside full stadium in Mohali

Police personnel deployed at gates blamed for overcrowded stands as they ‘let their close ones gatecrash’

Tickets in hand, fans wait outside full stadium in Mohali

A man, who was denied entry to the stadium, shows his ticket.

Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Mohali, September 20

After three years of wait, the IS Bindra PCA Stadium got back the spectators’ roars, as well as controversies.

As India took on Australia in the first of the three-match T20 series this evening, fans alleged that police personnel helped their close ones gatecrash and fill the stands to capacity. Many fans, despite having tickets, kept waiting outside the stadium and were even lathicharged as they demanded entry to the stadium. Even after half of the match was over, fans were seen queued up outside the venue.

Police personnel deployed at a gate manage the crowd outside IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali.

“Cops are claiming that the stands are full and they have closed the entry gates. How can the stands get full to the capacity when half of us having tickets are still outside,” said Gaurav, a young fan.

Before entering the stadium, people faced parking blues and ‘rude’ cops at the entry gates. Some fans were lathicharged by police personnel.

Youngsters scale a wall to enter the stadium.

“Cops deployed were of no help, rather they were rude. At one of the entry points (gate 3/4), cops helped some fans to gatecrash easily. Those who objected faced batons,” said a fan.

“The authorities should handle such situations. Overcrowded places are delicate to handle,” said Sahil.

Fans enjoy the T20 match between India and Australia at IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali.

Anjali, who had a face-off with a Punjab Police official, said, “Cops need to behave well with people. We have paid for our tickets and deserve some respect. They treated us like we were entering for free.”

Outside the main gate of the stadium, drivers of many government vehicles were seen arguing with police personnel over parking.

Kohli’s early dismissal

Though the Indian skipper lost the toss, fans were delighted after the hosts were called to bat first. The India side didn’t let them down and posted 208 runs in 20 overs. The moment of the match arrived when former captain Virat Kohli came in to bat at number 3. However, a pin-drop silence prevailed at the stadium as the former skipper left by scoring two runs.

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli before the start of the match.

“I came specially to see Kohli. He is my real hero. He was playing very calmly, but unluckily went back to pavilion very soon,” said Amrinder, a young fan.

“It’s good to see T20 cricket making a comeback here. It was a treat watching both India and Australia playing at a jam-packed stadium,” added Ankit, another spectator.

Indian team supporters at the venue. Tribune photos: Vicky

Fans enter media box

Some fans were allowed to sit in the area earmarked for the media. During the India- Pakistan 2011 World Cup semifinal at this very ground, a similar incident was reported and the BCCI had taken a strict note of that.

Punjab CM unveils new stands

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reached the stadium and unveiled two new stands named after former Indian players Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.

Special stand set up

Many differently abled persons reached the venue to watch their favourite players in action. A special stand was set up for them. “It’s really amazing to have a special place to enjoy the cricket match. It could have been easier, if the police had allowed us to park our vehicles near the gate,” said Pooran.

Tribune Shorts


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