Umesh Yadav is playing for Vidarbha © AFP
Umesh Yadav is playing for Vidarbha © AFP

In a curious case, players of Vidarbha team were caught in a traffic snarl because of Kolkata 25K run, delaying the start of their Ranji Trophy semifinal match against Karnataka by half an hour this morning. Thousands of runners, including Ethiopian long distance world record holder Kenenisa Bekele, ran in the fourth edition of 25K bringing the traffic to a standstill in the Maidan area where the cricket match venue Eden Gardens is located.

There were various restrictions around the Maidan area, where the 25K event was flagged off and the Vidarbha players who were staying at the Taj Bengal — about 4km from Eden Gardens — had to bear the brunt.

“We were caught in a traffic jam resulting in the delay,” a team official told reporters as Vidarbha players checked in at 8.45am and rushed through their warm-ups before the toss took place at 9.15am.

The match which was to start at 9 am finally began at 9.30.

Karnataka, however, did not have any such trouble as their team hotel, Lalit Great Eastern, was in the vicinity.

A senior Kolkata Traffic Police official, however, refused to take the blame and said the team should have started early aware of the 25K event.

“The team should have started early,” the official told PTI. “It’s an international event and we have been publicising about this event for a long time. There has been many announcements about the traffic regulations in the media.”