The distance between a player fielding on the boundary line and the spectators, especially in India, has always been a concern for security personnel. However, it won’t be the case with Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Ganhunje.
In a first for any stadium in the world, a squad of 24 dogs is all set to man the Pune-based stadium for its future matches. Labradors, Retrievers and German Shepherds will be stationed at strategic points to control the crowd. The squad will be an in-house entity of Maharashtra Cricket Association.
Comprising the elite squad would be eight sniffer dogs to detect explosives and ten watchdogs. Rest of the six would be stationed inside the stadium on a match day and would be positioned between the boundary line and the spectators’ stands.
Each of these dogs will have a handler. Besides, two supervisors and four kennel assistants will keep an eye on the elite squad.
“This move is not to terrorise the spectators, but to give them a pleasant stay during the match,” said Maharashtra Cricket Association chairman Ajay Shirke while talking to DNA on Wednesday.
One of the members of the squad is Prince, a Labrador and a sniffer dog. “Watch out,” Uttar Pradesh Ranji side’s coach Venkatesh Prasad warned one of his players as Prince along with his handler passed by during the team’s evening work out.
Leave alone the trouble makers, even the gatecrashers will be in for trouble. If these dogs suspect someone who has sneaked inside the stadium and is sitting in a wrong seat, he/she will be forced out of the stadium.
A dress rehearsal of the squad will take place during the Ranji Trophy match between Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh slated from November 9. But, their big day will come during the Twenty20 clash between India and England on December 20.