Players security top priority at World Cup: Bacher

Published: Saturday, September 28, 2002, 2:41 [IST]
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Colombo: Cricketers' safety will be the top priority at next year's World Cup in South Africa, the event's organising committee chief Ali Bacher said here on Friday. "We want to make sure that the World Cup is a safe and secure event," said Bacher, chief executive of the World Cup. "There'll be a closed-circuit television at each ground, monitoring crowd behaviour.

We want to make it absolutely certain that no spectator gets on to the field of play. "For the first time in South African sport, every person going into the ground will have to go through a metal detector." Bacher said all the Africans had agreed to promote and support the World Cup, the first to be staged in South Africa.

"We're having a very important banquet next month in the country where 41 sports ambassadors from Africa, mainly from South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia, will be announced," Bacher said. "They will help in promoting and supporting South Africa in the World Cup. They are sportsmen and women who have excelled at the highest level during the 80s and 90s. The selection committee picked 21 black and 20 white, including eight women and five disabled sportspersons."

Bacher said the preparations were in full swing for the World Cup matches, to be held in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. "We're spending Rands 100 million ($ 9.5 million) to upgrade the grounds," he said. "Some grounds will have giant electronic scoreboards. At some others, we're having giant TV screens and improving public address system with five official languages. "Another important feature is the gold-mining industries are contributing gold free of charge for the production of 54 coins that will be used for the toss."

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