x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Security problems before 2011 World Cup remain low key

The build up to this World Cup has been mercifully free from the debilitating, will-they-tour, won't-they-tour debates over security issues which have blighted so many tournaments in the past.

Security guard at Nagpur this week.
Security guard at Nagpur this week.

The build up to this World Cup has been mercifully free from the debilitating, will-they-tour, won't-they-tour debates over security issues which have blighted so many tournaments in the past.

In 1996, the last time the subcontinent hosted the event, Australia and New Zealand opted to forfeit matches rather than play in Colombo a week after a bomb blast killed 80 people there.

In 2003, England refused to go to Zimbabwe after receiving threats from political activists, and lost vital points as a result.

In 2008, Pakistan's Champions Trophy was cancelled when several sides refused to play in the country because of the security situation.

The assault on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 meant Pakistan then ceded the right to co-host this World Cup.

Armed personnel have been a fixture at grounds in India for years, and will be so again for the Word Cup, but the security debate has been relatively low-key.

The security chief for the Punjab Cricket Association in Mohali, where three matches will be staged, has promised "foolproof" security for the duration of the tournament.

In Bangladesh, authorities have been more concerned with sprucing up the roads and houses near the grounds, getting beggars off the streets, and employing teams of mosquito exterminators around the stadiums.

Sri Lanka's three-decade civil war ended in 2009 with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has provided the organisers with an extra degree of comfort.

"We've got, I believe, adequate security measures in place," Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, was quoted as saying.

"We are now a lot more mature and have got the expertise to prepare adequately on security arrangements.

"So security is not an issue that troubles me as much as it did in the past."