Indian team reaches Chandigarh for the high-voltage semifinal

The Indian cricketers reached here in the afternoon and straightaway boarded the bus that was escorted by heavy security on their way to the team hotel, where Pakistan team, which reached yesterday, is also staying.

The Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan team, which had beaten the West Indies in their quarterfinal in Mirpur to set a semifinal clash against India, had quietly slipped into their rooms upon their arrival yesterday. The team hotel, which has also been turned into a fortress, gave little chance to the fans and the autograph seekers of getting anywhere close to the cricketers, including local hero Yuvraj Singh, who has shown terrific form in the Cup.

Even the media persons were not allowed to go inside unlike yesterday when they were permitted to enter. "Nearly 1,000 cops have been deployed for the security of the teams and officials," Chandigarh SSP (Security) H S Doon said.

The PCA stadium, which is about 12 km from the team hotel, has also been sealed and nearly 2,000 cops would be deployed in and around it on match-day as part of foolproof security measures, a Punjab police official said. Cricketing ties between the two countries were suspended in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to join him in watching the semifinal match.

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