'Working closely with host countries to ensure appropriate plans are in place', says ICC official on terror threat to T20 WC

Sports |  IANS  | Published :

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said it is working closely with Men’s T20 World Cup host countries – the West Indies and the USA – to ensure appropriate plans are in place amidst a terror threat to the showpiece event.

The men's T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in the West Indies and the USA from June 1-29. Reports emerged from various sections in the Caribbean media that the World Cup hosting islands in the region received terror threats from an organisation in North Pakistan.

"ICC is working closely with the host countries to ensure appropriate plans are in place. We immediately spoke to the authorities as the reports emerged, and the Cricket West Indies has assured everyone that a comprehensive security plan is in place to address any risk," an ICC official told IANS when asked about the terror threat to the Men’s T20 World Cup.

Dr Keith Rowley, the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, said to Daily Express that the security agencies are working to combat terror threats to the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

"Unfortunately, the threat of terrorism in its many and varied expressions is an ever-present danger in the world of the 21st century. It is against this backdrop that all nations, like our region, when hosting large or vulnerable gatherings, make an extra effort in national security preparations and response readiness to take seriously, all threats, expressed or implied.

"Given the fact that bad actors can choose to misbehave in any way possible it makes it virtually impossible to completely seal off all opportunities. However, in order to ameliorate these dangers, we at the local and regional levels have remained alert to many threats and singularly or together have our intelligence and other security agencies working to protect the population in countries and at venues throughout the tournament," said Rowley.

In the Caribbean, Kensington Oval in Barbados, Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad, Providence Stadium in Guyana, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia and Arnos Vale Stadium, St Vincent will be the hosts for matches of T20 World Cup.

In the USA, Eisenhower Park in New York; Broward County in Lauderhill, Florida and Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas, will be the venues. 20 teams will be divided into four groups of five each for the first round. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super eight stage.

In Super Eight, teams will be split into two groups of four each. Teams seeded first and second in their groups in the first round will retain that seeding in the Super Eight, provided they qualify. A1, B2, C1 and D2 finishers will be in one group, while A2, B1, C2 and D1 will be slotted in the other group.

Top two sides from two groups of the Super eight will advance for the semi-finals. The semi-finals will be held in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago on June 26 and 27 respectively. The final will be held in Barbados on June 29. Reserve days are in place for both semi-finals and the final.

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