Sri Lanka providing VVIP security to Pakistan team

Updated: 30 June 2009 13:42 IST

Pakistan's team is receiving security on its tour of Sri Lanka that is equivalent to a head of state, with more than 100 personnel having been assigned.

Sri Lanka providing VVIP security to Pakistan team
©

Colombo:

Pakistan's cricket team is receiving security on its tour of Sri Lanka that is equivalent to a head of state, with more than 100 personnel having been assigned to protect the visitors.

Sri Lanka Cricket official Charith Senanayake said stringent measures have been put in place, particularly focusing on security along the routes from hotels to match venues.

The Pakistan team arrived on Sunday to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match from July 4. "Pakistan team has been provided with VVIP security from the time they arrived in the country," Senanayake said on Monday.

"A strong security detail will accompany the team on and off the field."

Sri Lanka's team was attacked on its way to play a Test against Pakistan on March 3 in Lahore by more than a dozen heavily armed gunmen in an ambush. Six police officers and a driver were killed and seven members on Sri Lanka's bus were wounded.

"In terms of the risk involved, we've got various reports," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said of the Pakistan tour. "I don't think it's appropriate for us to go into detail with regard to the security arrangements or the risks involved.

"As a board and as a country, we have taken the maximum security measures to look after both the teams and the spectators."

Teams visiting Sri Lanka have had security issues in the past, with New Zealand in 1997 and South Africa in 2006 both returning home halfway through tours following bomb blasts near their hotels.

In 1992, a suicide bomber caused half of New Zealand's team to fly home. The team was not targeted in the explosion. However, Sri Lanka is now perceived to be safer after the military defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May ended their 25-year insurgency.

Topics : Cricket
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