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Indo-Pak cricket teams reach Lucknow for 3rd one-dayer

Lucknow, Nov 10 (UNI) Team India and the visting Pakistan cricket team reached here this afternoon from Chandigarh to play the third one-dayer at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur tomorrow.

Immediately, both the teams left for Kanpur at 1600 hours from the Amausi airport. The team reached about one hour late at Lucknow and the players hurried directly to their buses for Kanpur.

There was no official welcome ceremony on the occasion due to the delay in the arrival of the players.

The convoy of four buses on their journey to Kanpur, about 75 kilometers from the Amasui airport, would take around 90 minutes to reach the Landmark Hotel at Kanpur, where both the teams would be staying.

Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with Irfan Pathan, Robin Utahappa led the convoy in the newly gifted SUV of local lad and speedster R P Singh. Uttahappa was on the driving seat of the vehicle.

Fans of both the teams, who had assembled near the aiport since morning cheered when the team members alighted their buses with Pakistan's Shoib Akhtar and Sahid Afridi, while master blaster Sachin Tendular, skipper Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh recieving arousing welcome from them.

Most of the Indian cricket team players were seen talking on their mobiles while some Pak players were taking pictures on the digital cameras of the fans.

However, unprecedent security was made around the airport and senior police officials including Inspector General of Police (Lucknow Zone) A K Jain was himself monitoring the security.

UP police had already divided the entire route between Lucknow and Kanpur in four zones and have deployed seven companies of PAC throughout the route.

After a gap of about two years, Kanpur will host an international match. Chief Minister Mayawati will be the chief guest during the prize distribution function in the evening.

However, the crazy fans of Kanpur would be denied the presence of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, who has been asked by the Kanpur district administration to cancel his visit to avoid any law and order problems during the match.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the Sahara Sahar here where both the teams would be staying for two nights-- November 11 and 12. Special arrangements have been made for the occasion, including catering delicious Mugalai foods to the team members.

According to sources, the teams will reach Sahara Sahar tomorrow night and will leave for Gwalior on the morning of November 13.

On November 12, Sahara, official sponsors of Team India, will hold a special screening of the movie Om Shanti Om in the presence of several Bollywood stars including Shahrukh Khan. A grand dinner party has also been organised by the host for both the teams in the evening while in the morning hours arrangements have been made for their net practice inside Sahara Sahar.

During their stay in Lucknow, no players would be allowed to venture outside the Sahara Sahar while the media will not be allowed to interact with the team members.


Story first published: Saturday, November 10, 2007, 17:35 [IST]
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