Full-scale Ashes security in place: Authorities

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Sydney:The largest national security crackdown in Australia's sporting history is underway to protect this year's Ashes series against England from the threat of terrorism, cricket authorities said.

Security plans have been stepped up after reports this month that Al-Qaeda plotted to murder the entire Australian team in their changing rooms during last year's Edgbaston Test, using sarin nerve gas sprayed by the men who bombed the London Underground.

Cricket Australia and state police jurisdictions are working on an unprecedented national security plan for the series, which starts in Brisbane on November 23, reports said on Sunday.

While the 2000 Sydney Olympics marked Australia's biggest single security operation, the Ashes safety net will be spread across the five cities which will host the Test matches.

"We haven't yet finalised the review of venue security arrangements for the forthcoming Ashes series, but it is fair to say there will be greater scrutiny than at any previous series we've witnessed," Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young told Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper.

"It's an unfortunate fact of life, but with each passing year security grows tighter. It's tighter now than it was five years ago and in 10 years it will be greater still."

Young said the review will be completed by mid-November and "some arrangements will impact on fans".

"The principle discussions are taking place between Cricket Australia, the states' cricket associations, the individual venues and their management," he said. "State police are also involved as part of all that."

Australia's Test cricketers had every confidence in the security measures, captain Ricky Ponting said this month.

"We are totally confident in the security precautions Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association (players' union) take on our behalf," Ponting said.


Write Comments