Can terrorism jeopardize World Cup 2011?

Written by: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 12:02 [IST]
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Can terrorism jeopardize WC 2011?

Terror threat looms over the 2011 Cricket World Cup. This is not just a case of paranoia but in reality as even the ICC (International Cricket Council) is up and ready with a contingency plan. The global sports body has already started preparation to move the World Cup to Australia and New Zealand in case any unfortunate terror incident threatens the tournament. This is no longer being said in hushed tones but has been confirmed by the New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan.

The World Cup is coming to the sub-continent after a gap of 15 years. India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan had con-hosted the 1996 Wills Cricket World Cup. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh were to co-host the tenth edition of the tournament. Pakistan had been dropped as a venue last year after most of the teams had reservations in traveling to the Pakistan which has seen sporadic incidents of violence for major part of the last decade.

Although no place on earth can claim to have the 'safe' tag any longer the security situation of the sub-continent is a worrying factor at times. All the four cricket playing nations in the sub-continent are facing terror threats. India has been fighting a battle against terrorism for the past many decades. What was once limited to Jammu & Kashmir and North East has spread to other parts of the country. The recent blasts as Pune has come as a wakeup call for the security agencies.

Bangladesh has been hot-bed of fundamentalism for the past decade or so. Although the country which almost went into a civil war and saw a small military coup in the last couple of years seems to have normalized but the situation is anything but normal. Sri Lanka has just come out of a civil war after three decades and had seen boycott by the international teams during the 1996 edition of the tournament which the island nation had gone onto win.

All these taken into consideration raises issues on the security of the 2011 Cricket World Cup. It remains to be seen if the security agencies in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka can assure security to all the nations. Though the boards in the sub-continent are leaving no stone unturned to prepare for the event it is the security agencies which will have to psychologically assure the teams and the fans to come to the sub-continent for the mega event.

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