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File photo of Virat Kohli© BCCI/Sportzpics

As the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) gear up for the IPL 2024 Eliminator contest against Rajasthan Royals (RR), a report has claimed that the franchise had to cancel its only practice session before the start of the match due to a security concern. The concern arose over Virat Kohli‘s security, prompting RCB to abandon the practice session. RCB were to practice at the Gujarat College Ground in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, before the Eliminator on Wednesday, but couldn’t go ahead with the schedule.

According to Anandabazaar Patrika, the franchise didn’t even hold a press conference on the eve of the Eliminator match against the Royals due to the security threat, prompting many to leave flummoxed over the unusual development.

As per the report, the Gujarat Police hinted that the primary reason behind the cancellation of the practice session and the press conference was Virat’s security. The police also reportedly arrested 4 people from Ahmedabad over the suspicion of terrorist activity.

After the police informed the IPL franchises — Bengaluru and Rajasthan — one acted on the call and cancelled all commitments of the day while the other went ahead with the schedule.

“Virat Kohli learned about the arrests after arriving in Ahmedabad. He is a national treasure, and his security is our utmost priority,” Vijay Singha Jwala, a police officer, said. “RCB did not want to take a risk. They informed us that there would be no practice session. Rajasthan Royals were also informed about the development, but they had no problems going ahead with their practice.”

The police also strengthened the security arrangements outside RCB’s team hotel. Even IPL-accredited members were reportedly not allowed to enter the team hotel. A ‘green corridor’ was said to be created for the Rajasthan Royals to reach the training ground. The likes of R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Riyan Parag, reportedly chose to stay at the hotel and give the practice session a miss. Skipper Sanju Samson reached the ground late.

Strict security measures are expected to be taken for the IPL 2024 Eliminator between RCB and RR on Wednesday too.

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