Police secure Wankhede ahead of Sachinís last Test match
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A four-tier security system has been devised for Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and final Test match, which will be played at the Wankhede Stadium between November 14 and 18, the police said. Nearly 2,500 police personnel will be deployed for the duration of the match, starting from pre-match practice. The police said no specific terror alert had been received for the match, but they are making sure that all security SOPs are in place.
The police said that controlling the crowd would be their priority. "Since this is a big occasion, there is a possibility of crowd trouble. We do not want crowd frenzy during the match. The personal security provided to Tendulkar is sufficient. Inside the stadium, each player has been told of designated routes to exit and a designated vehicle has been assigned to ferry him out," Madhukar Pandey, Additional Commissioner of Police (Protection and Security).
With 35,000 people set to attend the match daily, the police have begun their crowd study. "We do not expect there to be rowdy behaviour, or hooliganism. We expect a respectful atmosphere as it will be Sachin Tendulkar's final match," said Pandey.
The first layer of police will be stationed inside the stadium, both in uniform and plainclothes. The second layer will be positioned on the periphery of the stadium to check stragglers. "All those without tickets will not be allowed to linger near the stadium. The third layer of security will sanitise the route taken by the team bus to and from the stadium and the hotel. The final layer will consist of quick response teams inside the team bus," he said.
Traffic will be also be diverted for the teams travelling to and fro. "A general notification has been issued in the neighbourhood," he said.
In the run up the match, the police have had several meetings with officials of the Mumbai Cricket Association. This week, they will meet with the caterers appointed for the match. "The meetings were also attended by the protection and security branch, special branch, traffic police, the Public Works Department (PWD), the BMC and the Mumbai Fire Brigade officials. We will take control of the stadium the night before each day's play and sanitise it. Entry to the stadium for MCA officials and mediapersons will begin from 6.30 am. Spectators will be allowed to enter from 7 am onwards. Caterers will be allowed to enter between 8 am and 8.30 am. Only 15 passes will be issued to MCA officials to use the parking space," said Krishna Prakash, Additional Commissioner of Police (South region).