No nights out alone for India, Zimbabwe players

Published: Sunday, March 17, 2002, 22:28 [IST]
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Guwahati: Indian and Zimbabwean cricketers won't be enjoying nights out alone in India's insurgency-rocked Assam state, where authorities have slapped strict restrictions on the players' movements.Police have ordered that any of the players here for a One-day International match on Tuesday can leave their hotel only with a security detail. A top police official said the rules will be enforced this time, as during the last One-day International match here in 1997 Indian and Sri Lankan players ignored similar warnings. "Some of the players did not listen to us and went on their own in cars with friends and relatives for an outing in the evening despite we clearly asking them not to go out without security escorts," the official said.

Authorities are taking no chances with security, deploying at least 1,000 police and paramilitary soldiers around Nehru Stadium and the players' hotel. "Troops are on full alert in Guwahati with maximum precaution taken in view of the threat perception to players like Indian captain Saurav Ganguly," Guwahati's additional police chief Rana Bhuyan told reporters. "We are taking no chances whatsoever and hence the tight security," he said. Indian authorities are battling a number of separatist militant groups in Assam, where more than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the past two decades.

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