ICC reassured about security for matches in Zimbabwe

Published: Friday, January 24, 2003, 1:43 [IST]
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Harare: A high-level delegation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) visiting Zimbabwe to reassess the security situation ahead of the World Cup matches said on Thursday they had received reassurances that all will be under control during the games starting next month. "We are very reassured by the manner in which they (Zimbabwe security experts) want to handle this security operation during the World Cup," said the chief executive of the ICC World Cup organising committee, Ali Bacher.

"I was very heartened by the desire that it should go off in Zimbabwe without any problem, that it should be low-profile, the police presence, and they really are committed that this should be a wonderful event not only for South Africa and Zimbabwe, but also for international cricket," Bacher told a news conference just before leaving the country. The team met with the state security chiefs, diplomats representing the five cricketing countries and the Zimbabwe cricketing officials.

Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive said everyone was "very frank in their assessment of the situation here". "We have gathered further information that is very useful," he said. Speed said he will prepare a report on their visit, to be tabled at an ICC board of directors teleconference on Friday. Responding to a question on public demonstrations during the cricket matches, Bacher said Zimbabwe's police chiefs had said these would be permissible as long as they are peaceful.

"We got the assurance from the commissioners (of police) on Thursday that provided the process is proper application - which is the situation in South Africa - they will permit peaceful protest demonstrations, they gave us that assurance today (Thursday)," he said. The two who arrived here Wednesday were to examine final security details ahead of next month's World Cup tournament matches to be played here.

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