Bhuvaneshwar, Nov 28: The cricket teams of India and the West Indies arrived at Bhuvaneshwar on Sunday as they play the first one-day International (ODI) at the Barabati stadium at Cuttack on November 29.
The team members and officials were accorded a rousing welcome by officials of Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) at the Biju Patnaik airport after they alighted from a chartered flight. The players were immediately taken to the team hotel in Nayapalli area amid tight security with commondos of elite Special Operation Group (SOG) and personnel of Odisha police escorting the buses, carrying the teams.
India team arrived from Mumbai sans its captain Virender Sehwag, dashing opener Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina. The entire area in front of the hotel reverberated with shrill sounds of conch shells, drums and cymbals with the team members being welcomed with 'Hulahuli" and garlands on their arrival even as scores of ecstatic people thronged to have a glimpse of cricket stars.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were made in the airport and in and around the hotel besides the route in between to ward off any threat to the teams, a senior police official said.
Hosting its 17th ODI, the seating capacity of the stadium has been raised to 45,000, though the absent of star-cricketers have not affected ticket sales.