Tight security for Pakistani players

100 personnel assigned to protect visitors

A Sri Lankan security personnel takes guard as Pakistani bowler Danish Kaneria steps out of the dressing room. APSri Lanka Cricket official Charith Senanayake said stringent measures had been put in place, particularly focusing on security along the routes from hotels to match venues.

The Pakistan team arrived on Sunday to play Three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match from July 4.

“The Pakistan team has been provided with VVIP security from the time they arrived in the country,” Senanayake said. “A strong security detail will accompany the team on and off the field.”

Sri Lanka’s team was attacked on its way to play a Test against Pakistan on March 3 in Lahore by more than a dozen heavily armed gunmen in an ambush. Six police officers and a driver were killed and seven members on Sri Lanka’s bus were wounded.

“In terms of the risk involved, we’ve got various reports,” SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said of the Pakistan tour. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to go into detail with regard to the security arrangements or the risks involved.

“As a board and as a country, we have taken the maximum security measures to look after both the teams and the spectators.”

Teams visiting Sri Lanka have had security issues in the past, with New Zealand in 1997 and South Africa in 2006 both returning home halfway through tours following bomb blasts near their hotels.

However, Sri Lanka is now perceived to be safer after the military defeat of the LTTE ended their 25-year insurgency.

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