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Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final postponed due to fire at mall adjacent to team hotel

The second semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy between Jharkhand and Bengal was on Friday postponed after a fire incident that took place at the adjacent Mall located in Dwarka area of New Delhi this morning.

It is reported that the match has now been rescheduled for Saturday and will be played at the Airforce Complex Ground, Palam.

“We were to assemble in the lobby at 7.30am as we usually do before a game, but at 7, I was asked to stay back in the room by Pratyush Singh as there was lot of fire and smoke at the ground floor lobby,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ishank Jaggi, the Jharkhand batsman, as saying.

Jaggi said that the fire spread quickly and the smoke was so thick that they couldn’t even see the far end of the lobby located on the seventh floor of the hotel.

“What added to our concern was the fire alarm didn’t go off, so we assumed it to be a small fire accident. But when there was a strong burning smell, we were asked to vacate immediately. The seriousness of it struck us only when we got out. The smoke spread to our rooms as well. That is when we were asked to run down the stairs.”

However, the hotel management has denied that there was any fire incident inside their premises, and said that the broke out in the shopping mall located adjacent to the hotel.

“A fire broke out in the shopping mall, adjacent to the hotel. In keeping with our safety and security guidelines, as a precautionary measure, we evacuated all our guests. There were no casualties recorded at the hotel”, said a hotel spokesperson.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of the Jharkhand team, along with the rest of the players and support staff, was evacuated from the hotel.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also confirmed that all the players and match officials are unhurt and safe.

“The semi-final, which was to be held on Friday, March 17, 2017 at the Airforce Complex ground, Palam in New Delhi will now be held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Saturday, March 18,” said BCCI in a statement.

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