India v South Africa, 3rd Test, Kanpur April 9, 2008

Security tightened following threat of attack

Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh inspects the pitch as a policeman looks on © AFP

Security has been increased in Kanpur, and especially around the India and South Africa teams, following the threat of an attack during the third Test, which begins there on Friday. The threat is believed to have been made two days ago by a fundamentalist organisation banned by the Indian government.

"Security has been beefed up," Vikram Singh, the Uttar Pradesh director-general of police, confirmed. "We are using trained police personnel and manpower, new technology equipments, interceptors and taking other steps to make the Test match safe and secure. We ask spectators to come and enjoy the match without worrying about security."

Intelligence agencies had warned the Delhi and UP police of the possibility of an attack on cricketers. Local newspapers reported a threat from the Students' Islamic Movement of India, an outfit banned by the government.

Logan Naidoo, the South Africa team manager, said they were monitoring the situation but indicated that at the moment the tour would go ahead as scheduled. "It is still early days but if we feel threatened in any way then we will have to seriously consider what we want to do. For now all we want to do is let people know that, although there has been a terrorist threat, we do not feel under threat at the moment and we have been assured by the BCCI of our security," Naidoo said. He said that additional security had been provided at the team hotel.

"There are more checkpoints around the hotel and people are being frisked more than usual," Naidoo said. "We have been in touch with the top brass of the Indian police in Delhi and their Intelligence Bureau is aware of what is happening.

"Although they don't see any possibility of the threat taking place, they want to make sure all possible security measures are put in place and that we feel comfortable with our security," he said. "We are not taking this lightly - the players are worried - so we will respect our hosts' (BCCI) word on this but keep in touch with the situation. We have asked our own intelligence back home, Nicholls Steyn and Associates, to look into the matter and they are doing that through their London branch. They are also sending an extra member of their security team to India and he will be with us by Thursday."