The Board of Control for CI and Assam Cricket Association (ACA) will be “closely monitoring” the security situation in Guwahati in the wake of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, keeping in mind the January 5 T20 International between India and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka are coming to India for a short three-match T20 International series, which starts at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati, but the prevailing security situation has cast a shadow of doubt.
“Right now, we cannot comment on whether the T20 International in Guwahati will happen or not. All the authorities (state Police, Home Ministry) will be monitoring the situation. We have to wait for some time. There is still three weeks to go so we have to be hopeful,” Assam CA vice-president Parikshit Dutta told PTI.
Both BCCI and ACA need to be extra cautious as it involves the security of an international team.
Due to the protests in Guwahati, the fourth day’s play in the Ranji Trophy match between Assam and Services was cancelled, and the players remained in their hotels.
An U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match between Assam and Odisha in Nagaun also had to be cancelled and the visiting team was forced to stay in a hotel on the highway to avoid conflict areas.
The Jharkhand team that completed its Ranji assignment against Tripura in Agartala is currently in Kolkata, waiting for BCCI’s approval for its next away encounter against Assam, starting December 17.
The BCCI officials are, however, hopeful of normalcy prevailing in Guwahati within the next three weeks.
“At this point, it will be premature to comment that the India versus Sri Lanka game will be shifted. Yes, we are all monitoring the security situation and close to the date, we will take a call. For the time being, BCCI will ‘wait and watch’,” a senior BCCI functionary said on the condition of anonymity.
Asked if the BCCI will be ready with an alternate venue if Guwahati is unable to host the match, the official said: “Right now, we haven’t zeroed in on any alternate venues but we always keep back-up options ready in case of unforseen circumstances. For now, let’s hope that normalcy returns and we can have the match as per schedule.”