Dhoni, mates escape unhurt

Dhoni, mates escape unhurt

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Jharkhand team-mates escaped unhurt after a fire broke out in their hotel on Friday morning.

The blaze was controlled in time and all members of Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu teams, along with match officials, were safely evacuated.

 The incident forced the postponement of Jharkhand's semifinal match against Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scheduled at the nearby Palam Ground on Friday. It will now take place at Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.

The Jharkhand team’s liaison officer told Deccan Herald that the fire broke out around 6:20 am. It is learnt a call was made to Delhi Fire Service (DFS) at 6:30 am, and 30 fire tendors were pressed into service.

The teams and officials were staying on floors 7 to 12, with the Jharkhand team occupying the seventh floor. It was later confirmed by police that the fire broke out in a Reliance showroom at first floor and was controlled around 7:50 am.

"Our team-mate Pratyush Singh, who was downstairs, informed us that fire has broken out and there was smoke in the lobby. He asked us to stay back. When we came out there was smoke inside the corridors. There was no fire alarm. It was a bit unnerving,” Jharkhand batsman Ishan Kishan told DH.

A BCCI official, staying in the same hotel said: “My eyes are still burning because of smoke. I screamed for help, grabbed my valuables, and escaped through the kitchen.”

Match postponed
After the Jharkhand players safely exited the hotel, they were taken to the Palam ground where they trained for some time.

“Though the kits of the players were at the Palam ground their apparels were left in the hotel as they rushed to evacuate the place. By the time we could reach the ground it was already around 9 am,” said a Jharkhand official.

“The players were also not in a proper frame of mind, but they took the incident in their stride. The umpires then decided to postpone the match.”

Dhoni and his Jharkhand team-mates were later shifted to a five-star facility in New Delhi. The final of the tournament will now be played at the Feroz Shah ground on Monday, according to BCCI. The tournament was scheduled for a Sunday closure earlier.
DH News Service

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