The Lahore terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers has set the alarm bells ringing for the organisers of the Twenty20 World Cup in England as well and they will take a fresh look at the security arrangements for the event.
Twenty20 World Cup Organising Director Steve Elworthy says the Lahore attack,that left six Lankan cricketers injured,has caused a lot of concern for the event that is scheduled this June.
“Definitely,the Lahore terror attack has forced us to relook our plan. Just after the attack,we had a meeting and we are meeting again next week where some top security experts will also participate,” Elworthy said from London.
Elworthy said a two-level security system to protect match venues and players will be put in place. Participating teams’ outdoor activities may also be curtailed during the event as part of the security plan.
“The Lahore attack has proved that terrorists can strike anywhere anytime and this is worrying. We have to be on our guard as London has been a terror target in the past. We might have to keep a tab on the players’ outdoor activities during the tournament,” he said.
Elworthy said the Twenty20 World Cup organisers were awaiting top security expert Reg Dickason’s return from West Indies. Dickason is a security advisor for the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“We will analyse the security arrangements all over again when Dickason returns from the West Indies. We had a round of meetings after the Mumbai terror attacks last year. We have been monitoring the situation continuously for the past 13-14 months. The ICC is also in touch with us,” he said.
Asked whether any individual Cricket Board has expressed any security fears about the event,Elworthy said,”Not as yet but the issue may come up for discussion during the ICC meeting in Dubai.”
Elworthy said the security arrangements for the World Cup in England would be different from the ones put in place during the inaugural edition in South Africa in 2008.
“The situation here is different and we have to plan accordingly. The terrorists have become more active between then and now. But we are confident of staging the event successfully,” he said.