Ex-Brigadier who neutralised Mumbai attack terrorists to provide security to Team India during Australian tour

Retired Brigadier Sisodiya will shadow Team India throughout its Australia ODI series.
Retired Brigadier Govind Singh Sisodiya will shadow Team India throughout this Australia ODI series.

As thousands of Indian Australians watch their heroes play cricket in Perth on Tuesday, little will they know that one more national hero of India is present among them – stealthily, without any media circus, totally focused on providing airtight protection for Team India.

He is not a cricketing hero. He is in fact a real-life hero, a true war hero adept at dodging bullets than wield bats, an ageing but seasoned commando. He is, retired Brigadier of the Indian Army, Govind Singh Sisodia. Mr Sisodia was the man who successfully neutralised the terrorists that carried out the bloody 2008 Mumbai attacks. Dubbed 26/11, it is widely believed that if not for the Brigadier, the attackers would have left a far greater body count.

Unlike the Team India players, Mr Sisodia will be in the background, watching minutely and closely over all movements around Mr Dhoni’s team. He will not be talking to media for sure proven by the fact that Fairfax Media’s request for an interview was turned down by BCCI on the ground that support staffs are not allowed to talk to the media.

The fact that a national hero (apart from leading many small-scale operations, he also took a bullet while on peace-keeping mission to Sri Lanka in 1987, sportskeeda.com said) with 35 years in uniform has been contracted as a security consultant of the Team India speaks volumes about how seriously India takes the security of its cricketers.

It is not only the general security situation of today’s world that pushes India to take the utmost caution when it comes to providing security to its much-loved cricketers, who attain somewhat demigod status in the subcontinent. The coordinated attacks on Mumbai took place when top players from around the world were on their way to India for the first Twenty20 Champions League. The event was later cancelled. The security of cricketers further became an international issue when terrorists armed to the teeth mounted a brazen attack on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009 as they were being led to play at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. So serious was the attack that six policemen in the security detail were killed in addition to two civilians who were killed when they were caught in the ensuing gun battle.

Mr Sisodia is also credited with the capture of Ajmal Kasav who would be executed four years later. It was through his interrogation of the young Pakistani man that India held Pakistan responsible for the attack.

In a 2012 interview with Indian Express, the retired Indian Army officer confessed that he regularly visits Hotel Taj and Nariman House, the site of fierce gun battle with the 26/11 terrorists, and poignantly remembers his fallen commando-comrades: Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Gajender Singh.

India and Australia will clash in five ODI matches between 12 to 23 January during which India obviously will be under tremendous pressure to better their record of playing against Australia in Australia. India has won only 9 matches out of 43 matches they played in Australia.

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