Pak need to fine tune security for CT: Oz security expert

Published: Monday, June 30, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Karachi: Ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in Pakistan, an Australian security expert Reg Dickason cautioned the host country to fine-tune its security arrangement.

Dickason said, "Everybody would like to play here. There"s lots of (security) experience in this country plus international experience have been brought in. Still some fine-tuning needs to be done here and everyone acknowledges that," the Dawn quoted him, as saying.

Dickason has been hired by the Australia, England and New Zealand cricket boards to assess security measures ahead of September's tournament.

Dickason had previously visited with the New Zealand cricket team as security manager in 2002.

"I had met some security consultants and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials who have been very helpful," Dickason stated.

"I will be having more meetings as the Champions Trophy is still two to three months away."

Last week, the ICC said Pakistan remained the first choice venue for the Champions Trophy, but would continue to monitor the security situation.

Sri Lanka was put on standby as an alternative host. Players from Australia, New Zealand and England have expressed reservations about the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the limited-overs tournament involving the world"s top eight teams.

Dickason will submit his security report to Cricket Australia (CA), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the next two weeks.

The Pakistan government had promised high security for the participating teams at all three proposed match venues – Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore.

Earlier this year, Australia pulled out of their tour to Pakistan on security grounds following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and a state-of-emergency surrounding national elections.

Australia will now play the five-match one-day series in March 2009 before returning for the Test series in 2010.

ICC hires SA firm for security assesment: Amid security apprehension expressed by a couple of senior Aussie cricketers ahead of Champions Trophy, the ICC has reportedly hired a South African security consultant firm 'Nicholls Steyn and Associates' to make a security assessment in the host country.

The South African firm"s three security experts - Faisul Nagel (Head, Sports Security Division), Bruce Spargo and Steve Stephenson (Stadium Security Consultants) - are in Pakistan to oversee the security arrangements.

The security firm is likely to submit its final report within a fortnight after the Asia Cup, and on the basis of this report a final decision to award the Champions Trophy (to Pakistan) would be taken, reported the Dawn.

On Sunday, they preferred to remain to themselves for their work rather than having PCB officials with them. Having provided protective services to the highest level of clientele in a variety of countries, the South Africa-based company"s co-owner Robert (Bob) Nichollas is also set to visit Pakistan next week, added the paper.

The ICC consultants are likely to remain in Pakistan till the Asia Cup is over. They have finished their assessment tour of Lahore and Rawalpindi.


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