India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI: Lesson learnt from Pune fiasco, foolproof security for Kanpur pitch

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has beefed up security around the 22-yard strip for Sunday’s ODI series decider between India and New Zealand, to be played at Kanpur’s Green Park stadium.

It’s pertinent to mention that the second ODI match, which India won by six wickets to level the series in Pune, was played under the shadow of controversy with pitch curator caught in a sting operation done by a private TV channel.

Pune curator Pandurang Salgaoncar allegedly agreed to tamper the pitch ahead of the match. And the UPCA has increased the security arrangement around the stadium.

The return of Shiv Kumar, who was shifted to Ghazipur ever since UP Police arrested three bookies for tampering with playing conditions before an IPL game earlier this year, has also emerged as one of the talking points ahead of the match.

Kumar, a tubewell operator, rose to become the curator at Green Park. He has reportedly returned to the venue and has been helping in pitch preparation, even though BCCI curator Taposh Chatterjee is officially overseeing pitch preparations for the crucial game.

UPCA acting secretary Yudhvir Singh told PTI that the security officials at the Green Park Stadium have been clearly instructed to not allow anyone into the venue without a valid pass.

The groundsmen too have been strictly instructed not to discuss the nature of the pitch with anyone.

“We have to be more careful after the incident in Pune. The police officials have been told that only individuals with valid accreditation can enter the stadium. This practice was already in place but we are extra-cautious now,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.

Yesterday, IG Kanpur Alok Singh inspected security arrangement around Green Park Stadium.