ICC Cricket World Cup is going to kick start from May 30, 2019, with the opening match between England and South Africa at Kennington Oval, London. This tournament is going to see its most awaited and exciting clash between the arch-rivals, India and Pakistan on June 16 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. The fans are super excited for this clash as the stadium tickets for this match were sold within first 48 hours.
Following the recent terrorist attacks in the cricket playing nations, the security concerns are at the peak in this ICC mega event. 51 people were shot dead in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand in March and the Bangladesh cricket team had a narrow escape. Another cricket playing Country, Sri Lanka saw suicide bombings on Easter eve, which took more than 300 lives. There were terror attacks in Pakistan and India also which have put immense pressure on the World Cup organisers to ensure fool proof security to all the matches.
Owing to these terrorist attacks, the security arrangements for this World Cup are unprecedented. Jill McCracken, safety and security director for World Cup, told that intelligence units are collaborating with security forces to secure all the 11 venues which are going to host the World Cup matches. She emphasised that till now, there is no threat to any of the matches, including the high tension fixture between India and Pakistan, as per the intelligence reports.
“The fact that those incidents happened so close to the World Cup understandably did cause some nervousness. We’ve our plans in place. But we’re open to a scrutiny-the plan that I write goes to all the board members. The teams have brought their personal security advisors here with them, and they’re all happy with the security,” the World Cup safety and security director was quoted as saying.
Regarding the BCCI’s security concerns, she maintained that their security advisers are working closely with the security team and there will be changes in security plan, if needed.
“At that point, the BCCI hadn’t seen our security plans. Our plans are constantly reviewed. After every single game, we make the necessary changes. They’ve (BCCI) seen our plan and their security experts are working closely with us,” Jill said.
“This will always be about cricket. I would want this World Cup to be remembered for cricket.” Jill asserted.
Keeping in view the bitter rivalry between the two neighbours and a large number of Indian and Pakistani diaspora residing in Manchester, a series of analyses has been conducted to judge the community tensions, Jill said.
“We’re constantly in touch with the intelligence units across venues. We ran out an index of community tensions in that city based on a series of analysis/reports of Manchester. Based on that analysis, we see what changes were actually happening there. At the moment, we’ve no information that causes any additional concern.”
It is to be noted that thousands of Indian and Pakistani enthusiastic fans are expected to arrive in Manchester on the day of clash and there will be live screening of matches in Cathedral Gardens, having a capacity of 3,000 people.