London: English cricket authorities have called in police to investigate a series of threatening letters sent to chairman of selectors David Graveney.
An individual has been sending letters to Graveney for some time about cricketing matters but recently they have become more sinister. Scotland Yard detectives were contacted after Graveney showed the letters to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). "I get a lot of mail, which goes with the territory, and I actually try to ring people back if they are brave enough to leave their telephone number, which tends to produce the odd quite amusing phone call because there's a silence on the end of the phone," Graveney told the BBC. "The conversations tend to be a little bit more sensible than the letters. "This is an entirely different matter. I've spoken to him on a number of occasions. The letters themselves stopped for a while and now they have started again, and they're not only directed at me, but other people. "I showed them to the Board, which I think I should do. They're not necessarily my employers, but other people within the Board were being mentioned, and they thought it was necessary to show it to the police. "I know the parameters of my job, but when as a husband and a father, then you think that they're of some concern, therefore you've got to take the appropriate measures." Tim Lamb, chief executive of the ECB, said they were taking no chances with Graveney's safety. "The thing that concerned us is that there may be a thin dividing line between a cricket-loving eccentric and someone who is more dangerous," he said. "When anything like this happens we always try to take appropriate action. When the letters became more menacing we took legal advice and then took them to the police for them to deal with. "We have a duty of care to look after all our employees and this is no different. David gets a number of robust letters as I do, which goes with the territory, but this went a stage further and nobody should have to accept that." While England do not have any specific security measures in place for their administrators, the players are closely monitored by full-time consultant Bob Smalley, who was appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal that rocked the sport. Smalley shares his time between the England team and the West Indies and is responsible for ensuring the players are not approached by outsiders in and around the dressing room under the new ICC guidelines. There was also a security review conducted for the team last year when several players suffered uncomfortable situations travelling to and from grounds during the NatWest Series after being spotted by rowdy Pakistan fans. England attempted to prevent a recurrence this summer by travelling on a coach, but the experiment was shelved because logistically it was proving difficult with some players often wanting to return home after matches.
Graveney receives threatening mails, fears for life