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BCCI tighten security for Pakistan series
Haresh Pandya | October 31, 2007 18:45 IST
Concerned by the crowd behaviour during the Australia series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not in a mood to take chances against the touring Pakistani team.
"Obviously the behaviour of certain sections of the crowds against some of the Australian players was all but good. They probably uttered a few words which weren't in good taste," BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah told rediff.com on Wednesday.
"That doesn't mean the security wasn't tight at those venue. But you can never be sure how the crowds will behave sometimes regardless of the venue and the country.
"We don't want to take any chances and will take all the necessary steps to provide full security to the Pakistani players. Actually, whenever a foreign team visits India, we try our best to look after the players' security. And this applies to Australia, Pakistan or any other overseas squad.
"As always, the Home Ministry also steps in when it comes to making security arrangements for a visiting team from abroad."
Shah emphasised that considering the tense relations between India and Pakistan, and also the "zeal and passion" with which the spectators follow the cricket between these two arch-rivals anywhere in the world, every hosting association has been given "special instructions" to ensure "full-proof" security measures for Shoaib Malik's [Images] team.
Pakistan is scheduled to play five One-Day Internationals and three Test matches.
When Pakistan played in Kolkata in 1999 during the inaugural Asian Test Championship, there was crowd trouble at Eden Gardens when Sachin Tendulkar [Images] was declared run out after he collided with Shoaib Akhtar [Images] in the second innings (Akhtar had bowled Tendulkar for a golden duck in the first).
The police and security personnel had a tough time to drive away the troublemakers. In the end, the Test had to be completed in an empty stadium with Pakistan winning by 46 runs.
Fortunately, the last India-Pakistan series in 2005 in India was free of any controversy.
But the BCCI is "extra watchful" this time at all the venues, including Kolkata, according to Shah.
"It isn't the BCCI but the local police that provides security to the players. We haven't anything to do about it. It's the responsibility of the police," was the response of BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty.
Shah, though, reiterated that private security personnel would be deployed in addition to the local police force at each venue to provide the "necessary security cover".
"Heads of the associations hosting ODIs and Tests against Pakistan are working in collaboration with the local police authorities to take the best of security measures. There will be tighter security both at the stadiums as well team hotels throughout Pakistan's tour of India," reassured Shah.