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PCA voice security concerns

World Cup plans under scrutiny in wake of Bangalore bombing

Pietersen: played in match after bomb blast

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The Professional Cricketers' Association have expressed reservations about security at next year's World Cup following a bomb explosion at the IPL match between Bangalore Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians on April 17.

"The IPL is primarily an Indian event, whereas at the World Cup you've got a far more dangerous situation, more spread out with whole teams of foreigners rather than just a couple of blokes."

Ian Smith

Quotes of the week

The match at Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium went ahead after an hour-long security check of the venue, though the decision was left in the hands of the players themselves.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen, a member of the Royal Challengers' line-up, was left anxious and upset over the handling of the incident.

However, the decision to switch the semi-finals and final from Bangalore to Mumbai is likely to ease players' concerns as the event reaches its conclusion.

PCA legal director Ian Smith has wider concerns about security in the region, affecting not just future editions of the Twenty20 league but also the ICC's global showpiece, due to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2 next year.

He fears a worst-case scenario in which the tournament may have to be moved away from the region - echoing the 2009 Champions Trophy, which was taken away from Pakistan.

Attack

The latter country has already seen its World Cup games relocated due to ongoing security concerns - particularly after Sri Lanka's team bus and that carrying match officials were attacked by gunmen en route to a Test in Lahore - and Smith fears an even bigger decision may yet have to be taken.

South African security firm Nicholls Steyn and Associates were employed by IPL organisers to formulate a security plan for the tournament, and are scheduled to do likewise for the World Cup.

Smith has no concerns over their efforts, but focused instead on the implementation of the plan by local police and armed forces.

"Players are not supposed to be stuck in traffic, stationary in the bus, but they are," he continued.

"We ought to have a visible uniformed presence on every bridge that crosses the road on the way, and every player will tell you they've never seen a bloke on a bridge.

"We've only got a few games left in IPL, and they're in one venue (Mumbai) after today. That's a controllable situation so I'm not overly worried about that.

"Mumbai police have been excellent, the only implementation better was in Nagpur, which is obviously a much smaller venue.

"The ICC use the same security advisors as IPL, so they will be expecting a full report post-IPL.

Impact

"The main impact of this is going to be not just on the future of IPL4, but primarily on the cricket World Cup next year.

"The IPL is primarily an Indian event, whereas at the World Cup you've got a far more dangerous situation, more spread out with whole teams of foreigners rather than just a couple of blokes."

This October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi will provide a further barometer of the situation, and Smith said: "That's slightly easier to control because it's in one city. They've got a good security plan, we're aware of that, so the test is can they implement it?

"There are a lot of very bad people out there, doing things for different reasons - but when a bomb explodes, who cares why?

"But if they can keep the Commonwealth Games safe, that might start to make you believe that they can keep the other venues safe in the cricket World Cup."