X Close

ISL, Ranji Trophy games suspended in Guwahati owing to curfew over Citizenship Bill row


NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: Sporting activities took a hit in the curfew-struck city of Guwahati where an Indian Super League (ISL) football game and a Ranji Trophy cricket match were suspended on Thursday owing to the unrest over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Day four proceedings of the Ranji match between Assam and the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) along with the ISL clash between NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC were called off in the Assamese city.

"The Ranji Trophy match in Guwahati stops at where it ended on Day 3. We have been advised by the state association not to go ahead with the game. Players and match officials have been advised to remain in the hotel. At this stage, the safety of the players and match officials is paramount," BCCI GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim told PTI.

The ISL game was slated to be played at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in the city. "Due to the ongoing unrest in Guwahati, match 37 between NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC has been postponed until further notice," the ISL said in a statement on Thursday.


"The league has been in consultation with the concerned authorities over the past 48 hours to determine the best course of action. The safety of fans, players and league staff is of paramount importance, which has led to this decision," it added.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after being cleared by Lok Sabha on Monday.

Asked if the Ranji game will be replayed or the points will be shared, Karim said, "As the curfew has been imposed, both teams (in Assam) and match officials have been advised not to leave the hotel. We follow whatever advice we receive from the host association."

The match was headed for an exciting finish with Assam needing 168 runs for victory with five wickets in hand.

Services had bounced back strongly after being bundled out for 129 in their first innings. They dismissed Assam for 162 in response and scored 272 runs in the second innings. In their second essay, Assam were 74 for five at stumps on day three. 

Earlier, the two ISL teams did not train on Wednesday and their pre-match media interactions were also called off. Guwahati, the epicentre of anti-CAB protests, was placed under indefinite curfew on Wednesday night while the Army was called in at four places.

Assam Rifles personnel were deployed in Tripura on Wednesday after the two north-eastern states plunged into chaos over the hugely emotive Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

A team official of NorthEast United FC said the side has been stuck in a hotel in Guwahati. "We can't get out of the hotel at this moment. The situation is not good here at all," the official said on conditions of anonymity.