Off The Field

‘No threat thus far to India – Pakistan World Cup match in Manchester’

Written by N Krishnamurthy

ICC World Cup 2019 will kick start after a couple of days in England and Wales, and the clash between the arch-rivals India and Pakistan is expected to attract a massive global interest, superseding all other fixtures in the entire tournament. The rivalry between India and Pakistan is huge and the two rivals will lock horns with each other on June 16 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.

The terror attacks that happened recently in the cricket playing nation heightened the security concerns regarding the mega event. In March, 51 people were shot dead in mosque attacks in the New Zealand city and in Sri Lanka, around 250 people were killed in the suicide bombing on Easter eve. In the terror attack in Pulwama region of Jammu and Kashmir, over 40 CRPF paramilitary force troopers were killed. Keeping in mind the terror attacks in the cricket playing countries the security is boosted up in the UK.

Following the terror incidents that took place before the World Cup, Jill McCracken, the World Cup safety and security director, reflected over the security concerns and said that the forces are constantly in touch with intelligence units of all the 11 venues. She assured that there is no threat so far, as there is no such information from the intelligence agencies that can cause any sort of concern.

“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 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.”

Explaining the ability of her team Jill stated that her team members are experienced ex-police or military personnel and they have a variety of skills. “My team has a broad range of skills. They are all ex police or military service with a huge range of experience in delivering major events. Our aim is to bring consistency across 11 different venues. The team’s overarching aim is to create a safe environment but without that being oppressive for the public,” she concluded.


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N Krishnamurthy