NEW DELHI: A fire broke out at a hotel where ex-Indian captain MS Dhoni and his Jharkhand state team mates were staying, Indian media reported.
Dhoni’s state team is currently in the Capital for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where his side reached the semi-finals. They were supposed to face Bengal on Friday, but the match has been postponed to Saturday due to incident at Welcome Hotel Complex, located in Dwarka area of New Delhi this morning.
The fire broke out on Friday morning in the ground floor lobby, when the players, staying on the seventh floor, were about to depart for the match against Bengal at the Palam Grounds.
“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,” Ishank Jaggi, Jharkhand batsman, told ESPNcricinfo.
“It spread quite quickly and when we finally got out of our seventh floor rooms, all we could see around us was smoke. It was so thick that we couldn’t even see the far end of the lobby.”
Officials said the situation could have been worse as the fire alarm did not go off in time at 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,” Jaggi added.
Dhoni and the rest of the Jharkhand team were taken from the hotel to the Palam grounds.
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.