Just as fans were expressing their angst over the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's advisory which restricted mobile phones into the MA Chidambaram stadium for the IPL match on Tuesday, the offical handle of the Chennai Super Kings on Twitter has made a contrasting announcement.
Hours before the match is set to commence, it has been announced on the team's Twitter handle that mobile phones will be allowed into the stadium. The Chennai Super Kings are set to play against the Kolkata Knight Riders at 8pm on Tuesday. This will be the team's first match on home ground following their return after a two year suspension.
However, due to threats to the security of the team, the TNCA had issued a lengthy advisory banning multiple items including cellphones to the match. Several fans who had bought tickets had taken to Twitter to lament the restriction. Spectators questioned how they will return to their residences at midnight or contact transport services without a phone in hand.
When TNM contacted the TNCA regarding the change in its stand, secretary Kasi Viswanathan said that he was not aware of the development. "If the official Twitter handle has put it out, then it must be true. They would have done it without consulting authorities," he says.
Police too however, remain non-committal.
"We never banned cellphones in the first place," says a senior official incharge of security for the IPL match.
The strict restrictions were brought into place after threats to the safety of players and spectators from political groups such as the Thamizhaga Vazhvumurai Katchi.
"Players should understand that we are upset. At a time when we are battling for our rights, we don't want this game of gambling to take place here. We know that the cricket players are staying at the old Adyar hotel for practice. For all those cricket players who understand Tamil and are watching this, please understand our feelings. Lakhs of youth in Tamil Nadu are in great anger. You will leave the hotel for shopping or site seeing. If there is even a small untoward incident, beyond the democratic forces, if you face any problems- Velmurugan, TVK or those protesting for Cauvery rights are in no way related," Velumuragan, leader of TvK, said in a conference at the Press Club in Chennai on Monday.
At least 4,000 police personnel will be on duty in and around Chepauk to keep an eye on the situation.
Apart from the match venue, heavy security has been deployed in hotels on Chamiers Road and Ethiraj Salai, where the two teams are staying.
A police press release said that apart from the Additional Commissioner of Police, South, and his two joint commissioners, as many as 13 deputy commissioners, seven additional deputy commissioners, 29 assistant commissioners and 100 inspectors will be part of the 3-tier security system.