Dhoni, Zaheer, RP escape a near stampede situation

Published: Sunday, November 16, 2008, 14:31 [IST]
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Dhoni, Zaheer, RP Singh escapesNew Delhi: Indian Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and two of his teammates managed to come out unscathed from a near stampede situation after an exhibition match in a remote town of Maharashtra, where they had gone to inaugurate a cricket academy.

Hundreds of local fans, who gathered to have a glimpse of their heroes, rushed on to the ground posing a serious security hazard for the players and raising questions whether adequate security was in place.

Dhoni and his two pace bowling colleagues -- Zaheer Khan and RP Singh -- went to Bhandara in Maharashtra to inaugurate the academy, named after Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel's father.
The players left for Bhandara from Rajkot where they had thumped England by 158 runs in the first one-dayer on Friday.
But their presence at the academy came in for some media scrutiny, with a TV channel showing footage of the chaotic scenes at the venue and questioning whether it was prudent on their part to break away from the team and attend a private function, particularly when a series is on.
The BCCI, however, played down the incident saying that it was only a charity function and players had taken prior permission and insisted that adequate security measures were in place for the visit of the players.
"There is nothing wrong to attend such a programme. It was for a charitable cause. They had taken prior permission and enough security measures were in place," BCCI Finance Committee chairman Rajiv Shukla told PTI.
"The academy was for rural children and it should not be blown out of proportion since there was no practice session today. They had taken the necessary permission from the BCCI to attend the function," Shukla added.
Meanwhile, former Indian opener Chetan Chauhan questioned the logic behind sending players for the function. "How they were allowed to go without ascertaining the security arrangements? How they were allowed to go when a series is on," he asked.
The second one-dayer will be played in Indore on Monday.



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