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Electronic media shunted out of Wankhede Stadium


Mumbai : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) authorities ordered all electronic media personnel to vacate the Wankhede Stadium premises Friday afternoon, barely 24 hours before the much-anticipated India-Sri Lanka World Cup final.

Agitated electronic media personnel cried foul over the move, purportedly under instructions from the International Cricket Council (ICC), and protested the manner in which they were virtually thrown out of the stadium.

Times Now TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswamy condemned the action and termed it “undemocratic.”

“Nowhere in the world is the press – comprising the print and electronic medium – barred for attending or covering events like the press conference of the Indian cricket team, the chief of BCCI and other happenings,” an agitated Goswamy told IANS.

The combined media channels are now locked in negotiations with the ICC authorities in an attempt to sort out the issue.

Goswamy said that they were attempting to “make the ICC see reason and we hope something positive comes out very soon.”

Around two dozen TV channel crews – correspondents, camerapersons and sound engineers – from Mumbai and other parts of the country waited outside the stadium, disappointed at missing the action inside on the eve of India-Sri Lanka final.

“We also have accreditation for the final match, we were allowed inside since yesterday. Suddenly, as the tempo was building up, we were ordered to leave the venue,” said a news channel correspondent.

Another woman correspondent said that they were not even allowed to shoot the practice sessions going in the stadium or any other major pre-match events and termed this “demoralising.”

A senior correspondent of a Mumbai-based Hindi news channel said that they were meted out a step-motherly treatment in terms of setting up equipment to cover the most important event in cricket.

“We have been fully co-operating with everybody, right from the security to the BCCI officials. However, our OB (outside broadcast) vans were allotted parking space nearly 3 km away from the venue, Chowpatty to the north, Colaba to the south and Masjid Bunder to the east, making it extremely difficult to carry out our duties,” he lamented.

Despite repeated attempts, top BCCI officials were not available for comments on the issue.