Security to be an absolute priority at Cricket World Cup, says ICC
Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s world governing body, has insisted that security at this year’s Cricket World Cup in England is an “absolute priority,” following Friday’s mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 50 people dead after a suspected white supremacist opened fire.
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team narrowly missed being caught up in the attack, when their bus arrived just as the shooting began.
The test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh, which had been due to start on Saturday in Christchurch, was immediately cancelled, and the team has since flown home.
Richardson said: "I don't think security is anything new, obviously something happening in New Zealand probably took a lot of people by surprise and it emphasised the need not to be complacent, especially going into the World Cup.”
Richardson added: “I know the work done already by the security director together with all the security agencies in the UK, they are leaving no stone unturned, and if the threat level should rise in any way we will [further upgrade] the plans in place.”
Richardson was speaking at the final of the Pakistan Twenty20 Super League in Karachi, a tournament which passed without any security incidents.
Commenting on the tournament, Richardson said: “The perception outside of Pakistan was that it was quite a dangerous place to visit in the past, and that perception slowly but surely has been changed.”
While there are several examples from the last few decades of cricket tours being called off because of security concerns, these have come exclusively from Asian countries.
Pakistan plays almost all of its home fixtures in the UAE now, after the touring Sri Lankan team’s bus was hit by gunfire in Lahore in 2009.
Touring teams have also left or cancelled tours to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh amid security concerns.
The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will take place between 30 May and 14 July in England.