West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Bridgetown

Unprecedented security at Kensington Oval

Wisden Cricinfo staff

March 31, 2004

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The usual laid-back approach to cricket at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval has been ditched as unprecedented security has been put in place ahead of the third Test, which starts on Thursday (April 1). Already the ground is under police surveillance, and in the hours immediately before the game gets underway, more police will be drafted in.

The measures have been implemented to counter the increasing risk of international terrorism, and John Collymore, Barbados's assistant commissioner of police, told The Nation newspaper that high-profile policing was a key part of their plan. "We are going to start duty from as early as 4am on Thursday morning," he said "We are going to do our security checks and seal off Kensington."

After relatively poor turnouts in Jamaica and Trinidad, around 18,000 people - boosted by an influx of visitors from the UK - are expected to attend the first day. But those used to Barbados's relaxed approach to most things will be in for a surprise.

Collymore explained that no vendors' booths would be permitted within the vicinity of the ground, and no glass bottles would be allowed to be taken in. Perhaps most controversially, no unauthorised sale of tickets would be allowed near the stadium, a move which had led some to accuse the police of tacitly supporting the West Indian board's attempts to enforce their controversial ticket tax on overseas visitors.

"We are getting ready for 2007 [the World Cup], and the good thing about this is that we are going to international standards," Collymore explained. "It will not be what the Barbadian public expects, but what you will find anywhere where there's an international event."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Series/Tournaments: England tour of West Indies
Grounds: Kensington Oval
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