No room for mistakes; security plan for West Indies tour revealed

Over 1500 security personnel will be guarding both teams during the tour

No room for mistakes; security plan for West Indies tour revealed PHOTO: AFP

Rebuilding — this is something cricket in Pakistan has been familiar with ever since the unfortunate terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team back in 2009. Slowly but surely, through the efforts of various PCB personnel occupying the managerial position, things improved over time; the PSL came back on home soil, World XI match was held, various Test-playing nations traveled to Pakistan including South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and international cricket was restored to Pakistan. The recovery phase was almost concluded until New Zealand decided to pull out of their tour to Pakistan this year citing a 'security threat'. Following in New Zealand's footsteps, England also confirmed that won't be coming to Pakistan either. This created a lot of controversies and thus tainting Pakistan's reputation on the international stage once again.

In order to rectify the situation, the newly appointed Chairman of PCB Ramiz Raja opted to come on the front foot and refused to accept blame for any potential threat, which was later widely accepted as a hoax. This confrontation saw the Chairman of ECB Ian Watmore leave his position after just 13 months due to immense criticism over the cancellation of the Pakistan tour. After recognizing their mistake, a public apology was issued and the ECB boss Tom Harisson traveled to Pakistan to smooth over the differences and plan future tours. Following their meeting, Ramiz Raja shared his views with the media.

"I'm thankful to the England Cricket Board (ECB), as it wasn't easy for them. They were under pressure and we became emotional when the pullout took place. Everyone saw how Pakistan made its case, and the result is they came here," said the PCB Chairman.

"The only thing is we and the ECB must walk together because it's important for every board to understand each other, their frustrations, meet the expectations. I think the ECB also understood they committed a mistake by withdrawing, and it was a knee-jerk reaction," Raja added.

Security amped up for the West Indies tour

After fighting hard to restore the image on the international stage (again), the PCB is looking to ensure a seamless home tour against West Indies. In order to avoid any mishaps or slip-ups, the security for the tour has been increased. According to the sources, over 1500 personnel including 800 SSC Commandos and lady Commandos will be performing security duties during the tour.

The security personnel will be safeguarding National Stadium Karachi, Karachi airport, hotels, routes, and other undisclosed areas. Sharpshooters will also be deployed at sensitive areas to ensure extra protection against any threat.

The security plan also includes the presence of a specialised command and control team at the National Cricket stadium to maintain the law and order situation in and around the stadium. Shuttle service will be used to transport the spectators to the stadium to further reduce any risk element.

In addition to this, a highly trained Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team will be kept on standby for a prompt response against any emergency situation.

The details of the security for the tour were finalised at a meeting chaired by DIGP Security and Emergency Services Division Maqsood Ahmed, which was also attended by other senior officers of Police, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Rangers Sindh, and Pakistan Cricket Board along with all stakeholders.