Cricket: SLC tighten team security for World Cup

5 May 2019 - 14   - 0

As Sri Lanka set to embark on their two-month long tour of England and Wales to compete at cricket’s global showpiece-the World Cup, the board has taken additions measures to beef up the security of the national team. 

This was after the Easter Sunday bomb attack where Islamic terrorists blew up three churches and three hotels killing over 250 people and injuring hundreds of others. 

Accordingly, two senior police officers from the Ministerial Security Division (MSD)--an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and a Chief Inspector (CI) will travel with the team to England on Tuesday (7) where four other officers recommended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) will join the team. 

These six will shadow the team during their entire stay in England and Wales and in Scotland where they will play two ODIs against the Scottish national team.
“It’s going to cost us a lot but we can’t take the safety of the players lightly at this point in time,” said Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva. 

These security measures will cost at least Rs.7 to 8 million to the board.

This move is a deviation from the usual practice, where the teams solely depend on the security provided by the host country but the recent attacks in Sri Lanka forced cricket authorities to leave no room for error in the safety aspect. 

The attacks which have left Sri Lanka in a state of vigilance did impact on the team’s preparations for the World Cup. 

Scheduled training camps were abandoned due to security concerns. 

The players were to join a three day motivational camp in Maduru Oya before camping up in Dambulla for training. 

“Unfortunately our training was hampered by recent incidents but we travel to England early in order to get use to the conditions,” said ODI skipper Dimuth Karunaratne. 

The team had couple of days of training in Colombo and will leave for England on May 7. 

This gives them sufficient time to prepare before their opening World Cup fixture against New Zealand on June 1 in Cardiff. 

Sri Lanka ranked 9th in ODI cricket has been through a lean patch over the last several months owing to various reasons and carries little hope this time around.

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