What’s the story?
Fans and supporters will be allowed free entry into the Brabourne stadium to watch the first warm-up tie between India A and England, where Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for the last time, will be leading an Indian side. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has agreed to pay for the security provided by the police.
"There were only 40 policepersons who were set to be deployed initially," a Cricket Club of India official was quoted by Espncricinfo. "There are normally hardly 200-300 people for warm-up matches, but with Dhoni playing his last match as a captain, the game has become high-profile. There will be a bigger crowd now. So, more police personnel will have to be deployed; there will be around 300 policepersons now.”
In case you didn’t know...
On the fourth of January this year, Dhoni quit as captain of the limited-overs Indian side after leading them in 199 ODIs and 72 T20 Internationals. No other captain has led the team in more international games than him.
In December 2014, Dhoni had quit playing Test cricket and Virat Kohli took the reins. Here too, the captaincy of the limited overs side has been given to Kohli.
The heart of the matter
Supporters and fanatics who have worshipped Dhoni over the years will now get a chance to watch him lead his team for one last time in blue. There was a danger of fans being locked out after the local police demanded a sum of Rs. 60 lakhs for security. But that has been taken care off by the BCCI who have agreed to pay the entire amount.
Over 10,000 fans are set to flock into the stadium but their entry will be restricted to the north and the east stands. The west stand is undergoing renovation and will not be open for fans. If the stadium is filled by 3 in the afternoon, an hour and 30 minutes into the tie, the gates will be shut.
This comes as a small token of appreciation from the BCCI for a man who has been Indian cricket team’s most trusted soldier in the last 10 years.
What a sight it will be for the spectators watching Dhoni leading a team in blue for the last time onto the field of play. It will truly be a memory to savour for the ones present in the stadium.