David Richardson: ‘Probably more so than any previous event, absolutely no stone was left unturned in providing a secure environment’ © Getty Images
ICC chief executive David Richardson has said that the governing body is satisfied with its decision to carry on with the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh despite Australia pulling out of the tournament due to security reasons.
Richardson said that the security standard from this event will be followed for future ICC tournaments, including the World T20 that will be held in India next month.
“I think we’re very pleased with the fact that we made the decision to carry on with the tournament, despite Australia’s decision to withdraw their team,” Richardson said. “I think the outcomes and the results say that it was the correct decision. We’re certainly looking forward to the World T20 in India coming up. There is no doubt that there will be security challenges there as well. And we learnt a lot from this tournament.
“We’ve set a standard of what we need to deliver, with respect to all events. We’ll make sure that any threat that is received or any threat that is identified, we’ll put in place anything needed to negate it.”
Security was at its tightest in the eight stadiums and team hotels in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar. Teams making their way to the hotels, grounds and airports were accompanied by long convoys of security forces. In Chittagong, the team hotel was barely 50 yards from the MA Aziz Stadium where some of the matches were held alongside many practice sessions. The teams usually walked to the stadium during the Bangladesh Premier League last year but this time they had to travel by bus.
In Dhaka, the team hotel was fortified by security forces and many of the roads were closed in the Mirpur area on match days. The same was the case in Cox’s Bazar. There, the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Complex was under lockdown as soon as the teams entered for training or matches, with only accredited persons allowed; a limited number of fans were allowed for a few matches.
India coach Rahul Dravid had mentioned on Sunday that the security at times was overwhelming, particularly since it meant having to keep Under-19 players in their hotel rooms at all times when they were not training or playing a match. “I think it has been a great tournament, the way it has been organised and conducted. We’ve really enjoyed the cricketing side of things,” Dravid said. “But yes, I must admit that at times security has been a bit overpowering and we’ve had to stay in our hotel a lot.
“It’s not easy for young kids to be stuck in their hotel rooms for 24 days now, so that has been the hard part. But overall, in terms of the cricket and the facilities we’ve got, just the way the tournament has been conducted, it has been superb.”
Richardson admitted that security measures were “over the top” at times, but said it was only to ensure that there would be no complaints or incidents during the tournament. “Certainly, for this event, probably more so than any previous event, absolutely no stone was left unturned in providing a secure environment. We realise this was a massive undertaking, some would say even over the top for the occasion.”
On the consequences of Australia’s pull out, Richardson said: “It’s basically a contractual matter. Whether it results in any damage being suffered by any party, that is to be seen. Another point is, we can’t force a particular country into competing. It’s up to them. As I said, they [any team that pulls out of an ICC tournament] might run the risk of being in breach of a contract, but that’s the decision they need to take.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo