ICC to examine final security plan in Zimbabwe

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2003, 0:59 [IST]
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London: Security details in Zimbabwe for next month's cricket World Cup will be examined by ICC officials who are travelling to the Southern African country on Wednesday, the sport's world governing body announced. Zimbabwe is due to host six out of the 54 World Cup matches for the February 9 to March 23 tournament, mainly hosted by South Africa but with two games in Kenya, but food riots in capital Harare and Bulawayo have raised safety concerns. ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed and the chief executive of the ICC World Cup organising committee Ali Bacher travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday to have a look at the final security arrangements. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has drawn up a report on security, having earlier been given a blueprint for what was needed by security specialists at the ICC, the South African police, and other specialists contracted for the event. Speed said in an ICC statement issued on Tuesday: "The safety and security of the players and officials in Zimbabwe is clearly an issue for some countries and this meeting is an important opportunity for the ICC to see first hand how the security arrangements for this event are proceeding. "The visit of the security delegation in November 2002 highlighted the importance of this plan being fully implemented and I want to ensure that the ICC is fully aware of and briefed on the steps that are being taken to protect players and officials." The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has come under strong pressure from the British government to pull out of its match against Zimbabwe in Harare on February 13 although ministers have stressed that the final decision is one for the cricket authorities alone. Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand governments have also expressed their concerns although both now appear resigned to their teams playing in Zimbabwe.

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