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September 28, 2010
Cricket Australia has expressed concerns about the security details at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, the venue for the second Test between India and Australia from October 9. In an email sent to the BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, CA chief James Sutherland said his board was not aware of the exact security arrangements at the ground and asked the BCCI to follow it up with the state government.
In his email, sent last Friday, Sutherland said his advance security team, while satisfied with arrangements at the four other venues hosting Australia on this tour, had failed to get details of security arrangements from the Bangalore police.
The official in charge of security at the ground, deputy commissioner of police G Ramesh, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the police had not made any arrangements but said there was sufficient time to deal with the issue. "The match is scheduled from October 9 to 13, so there is lots of time," he said. "When they come here, we will make the arrangements as usual."
He said Australian officials had visited him a month ago, at which time they had discussed security arrangements for the Test match, and had not contacted him since.
Australia's concerns, as Sutherland noted in his email, stem from perceived risks in the aftermath of two low-intensity bomb blasts outside the venue on April 17, in which eight people were injured. The blasts occurred hours before an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Two unexploded devices were also recovered outside the venue over the next 24 hours. As a consequence the IPL semifinals, originally scheduled to be held in Bangalore, were moved to Mumbai, raising further doubts over the security at the ground.
"With the small explosions outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium during IPL III, there is obviously some greater sensitivity and awareness about security risks in Bangalore," Sutherland said.
CA had sent a pre-tour group comprising the team manager (Steve Bernard), cricket operations manager (Geoff Allardice), security manager (Frank Dimasi) and a representative of the players' association to inspect all the venues for the two-Test and three-ODI series. Sutherland said that the group was satisfied with all the measures taken at the other venues and even had complimentary words for Goa and Vizag.
In Bangalore, though, Sutherland said Ramesh failed to provide conclusive answers, though he assured them things would fall in place by the time of the Test.
CA's spokesperson Peter Young told ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday they were "completely satisfied" with the arrangements in India. "We did, as commonly happens after our standard pre-tour inspection visits to the countries where we are due to play, have follow-up questions, which have now been satisfied," Young said.
"Our long-standing and consistently held position is that we don't travel to, or stay anywhere, if the advice is that it is not safe to so do, and our record speaks for itself on that front."
With less than ten days to go, CA is bound to be sensitive about the issue. As a suggestion, Sutherland asked Srinivasan to check if the BCCI could contact the Karnataka chief minister and get assurance and further details from him. In addition the Australian security manager has recommended that security officers at the Chinnaswamy stadium be more pro-active and vigilant when they let the crowd enter the ground.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi