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CWC 2015 – India Vs Pakistan: Adelaide Prepares For Big Show

February 13th, 2015 | by admin
CWC 2015 – India Vs Pakistan: Adelaide Prepares For Big Show

In his definitive Bodyline Autopsy, David Frith wrote about the height of tensions during the third Test in Adelaide, following the Australian captain Bill Woodfull’s blow over the heart from Harold Larwood and Douglas Jardine’s subsequent reversion to a “fast leg theory” field:

“Here and there, with very good reason, it was written that if either Bill Woodfull or Don Bradman had been seriously injured now by a bouncer there must have been a riot. Other venues may be recognised as more volatile, but Adelaide Oval had been stirred into an unprecedented fury, and if one hothead had leapt the pickets the mob would have needed no further incitement to storm on.”

india vs pakistan adelaide 2015

india vs pakistan 2015 Adelaide Prepares For The Big Show

That they did not said much about Adelaide being a city not given to such violent invasions of a cricket ground. There have been a couple in more recent years, notably the Barmy Army’s charge to the middle when England finally won a Test match on their woebegone tour in 1994-95, and when South Australia won their most recent Sheffield Shield the following summer, but these were good natured and celebratory outbursts.

Nonetheless, the rejoining of battle between India and Pakistan in a vital opening World Cup match on Sunday has security and police in Adelaide well and truly alert. The South Australian government bid boldly and successfully for this fixture: they intend to ensure it will be a success not just in terms of size but also behaviour.

World Cup matches between the two subcontinent giants have been known to produce a rare pitch of intensity both on the field and at its edges. When asked about his favourite World Cup match, Rohit Sharma spoke vividly of watching the encounter that took place at Centurion during the 2003 edition, for he was unable to look away.

“I watched Sachin bat and the way the whole thing was going up, actually you could feel the heat,” Rohit said of that day. “Even if you’re not playing that game I was feeling the heat in that game. It was good to see that, and that’s one game I will never forget. Right from the toss. Everything was so intense that I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. I watched every single little bit of it, right until the last ball was bowled.”

If the contest can have that effect on a 15-year-old Rohit watching on television from across the seas, then Sunday’s encounter can be safely expected to create an emotional tumult for much of the sold-out crowd, expected to be in the region of 45,000 spectators. Security plans for the match are thus on par with any fixture involving Australia at the ground, with the added oversight of central plans by Australian government, police and security for the first ICC event to be held on these shores since 1992.

“As with all major events, SA Police (SAPOL) will have a planned and co-ordinated approach in place to prevent and minimise anti-social and disruptive behaviour while keeping the public safe,” a police spokesman said. “At all four of the Cricket World Cup matches [in Adelaide], SAPOL will have a highly visible, proactive and assertive presence, while encouraging all supporters to attend and enjoy the game.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in refusal of entry or eviction from the Adelaide Oval and a fine. Drivers are advised that there will be extensive speed restrictions and road closures surrounding the Adelaide Oval precinct on Sunday. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to exercise caution and patience when travelling to and from Adelaide Oval.”

India and Pakistan have met in Adelaide once before. A crowd of 11,263 turned up in January 2000 to watch Sourav Ganguly’s 141 underpin an Indian total of 6 for 267 that proved beyond the grasp of Pakistan, even if Azhar Mahmood collared 67 from 50 balls under lights. Anil Kumble’s four wickets ensured a comfortable margin, though in the context of the summer it was misleading: under Sachin Tendulkar’s captaincy, this was the only match India won all tour, and Wasim Akram’s Pakistan met Australia in the triangular series finals.

MS Dhoni’s team have at least removed that sort of stain from the tour ledger by easing past Afghanistan on Tuesday night. They were feted on Wednesday evening by a large crowd in a public reception put on at the Oval’s south gate. The genial former Test wicketkeeper Wayne Phillips engaged in a friendly question and answer session with Dhoni while many a tricolour was waved and stalls sold food and drink.

“The SATC will use the event to market the State as a tourism destination and other agencies will use the focus on Adelaide to highlight business and trade opportunities.”

It was the sort of event that underlined just why SA’s legislative and business establishment had been so keen to get the game to Adelaide. As the Premier Jay Weatherill had enthused on the occasion of the draw being announced in 2013: “It gives South Australia an outstanding opportunity to get significant leverage into India. The SATC will use the event to market the State as a tourism destination and other agencies will use the focus on Adelaide to highlight business and trade opportunities.

“Supporting our relationship with India, I have also extended an invitation to the Board for Cricket Control in India to send a squad of young players from underprivileged backgrounds to Adelaide during that summer to train in our international class facilities. I hope this is an arrangement that will continue on into the future and will be a significant legacy from Adelaide hosting the event.”

That team of young hopefuls has enjoyed a stretch of training and playing in Adelaide in the lead-up to Sunday. One evening barbecue saw the Australian coach and Adelaide native Darren Lehmann come to visit them. These good-natured scenes may be provided with something of a contrast when the two rival nations square off on Sunday, but the organisers are hopeful that the definitive images will be of cricket, rather than conflict. Based on Adelaide’s history, it is a reasonable expectation.

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