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Sunday, 30 January 2011

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Security must be water tight

One aspect that should not be left to chance or taken easy is SECURITY when the 2011 World Cup is conducted in the sub continent from February 19 to April 2 where the final will be played in Mumbai.

Not only in Sri Lanka, but also in India and Bangladesh the security must be water tight and not let openings be found by terror mongers to launch out on their style of sport -- Mayhem.

While sportsmen play sport, terror international have mastered a sport of an inhuman kind and they are not worried who the individual, the sport or the country, they will launch out on insensible attacks to disrupt the sport and cause havoc.

Terror groups

In the past terror groups were known to attack those whom they disliked. But of late sadly they have marked sportsmen. This is inexplicable considering that sportsmen are harmless and only play with bat and ball and not guns and grenades.

During the Munich Olympics in 1972, some poor Israeli sportsmen were gunned down in cold blood by a group calling themselves "Black September". After that blood chilling attack, one thought that attacks against sports people were a thing of the past. I was there and still remember the mayhem that that senseless attack caused.

The belief that that was the end of attacks on sports and sports people was hit for six when a terror group launched an attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers during their tour of Pakistan for a Test series.

Some of the cricketers who went through that horrendous and life threatening attack still carry scars and shudder when the topic is recalled. And thank the lord that they lived to tell the tale.

Few lives

Due to that attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers, the International Cricket Council was forced to deprive the Pakistan Cricket Board of conducting 2011 World Cup matches in the country.

At the moment no international cricket is played in Pakistan with cricketers from all countries refusing to risk life and limb and play there. All Pakistan home engagements are now being played in neutral venues.

Successful run

So if the 2011 World Cup is to have a successful run and a memorable ending, then it is of utmost importance for those in charge of security from the International Cricket Council, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh give utmost priority to security to the participants, the spectators and the visitors who will throng every venue to take in the action.

When the strictest of security measures are put into place, it will be customary for critics to cry that the security is too tight and does not allow free movement and other frivolous allegations. We cannot compromise safety however uncomfortable it may be to fans.

But the security team must not be perturbed. They are doing it for the welfare of all and instead of nit picking, everyone should contribute, come together and support the security men and women to successfully implement their security measure and make it a World Cup to remember.

Carrying injuries

Now for some news on the teams: Some of the cricketers who are expected to give a lift to their teams in the 2011 World Cup are sadly suffering injuries. A couple of them seem likely to miss the great event.

Australia and England are now contesting a seven- match one day international series in order to get their men tuned up for the great event. Aussies Michael Hussey and Nathan Hauritz have suffered event missing injuries.

Hussey and Hauritz are now under intense treatment and only time will tell whether their injuries would respond to treatment and they would be available to steer Australia to their fourth win in a row in the World Cup.

Swann injured

England's off-spinner Graeme Swann who contributed to England thrashing Australia in the Ashes series is another case in point. He was expected to lead the Brits spin attack in their endeavour to hold aloft the trophy for the first time in the history of the World Cup, but has also suffered a niggle and has been sent home to recuperate.

Some Sri Lankan cricketers, too it is reported, are suffering from injuries with some of them skipping the on going tournaments. But there is no cause for alarm as they would be fit to take the field when Cup playing time comes around.

SLRFU in controversy?

Sri Lanka is preparing very earnestly for the forthcoming Five Nations rugby tournament to be scrummed down in April. Sri Lanka will have to push and shove against four top Asian teams.

The Five Nations is an important tournament for the future of the game here. A squad was selected in preparation and the players were given a briefing by the appointed manager.

At the briefing senior players, it is gathered, raised a pertinent question. This related to the nomination of a player to represent the country at a press briefing held in Hong Kong in connection with the Five Nations tournament.

The ruggerites were anxious to know as to how a junior was nominated when there were several seniors who should have been considered. There was a player who has sported Sri Lanka colours for nine years and several others who were cold shouldered. This junior had not joined the scrum in the 2007 Asiad.

Natural justice

When Sri Lanka captain picking time comes around, it is hoped that natural justice will prevail and that seniority, contribution to the national side over the years and leadership ability be given due consideration. The selectors will be watched.

In the past it has become customary for some payers to pull out giving lame excuses when it comes to playing for the country.

Players who have faithfully given of their best to the game over the years should be given preference.

The new Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage who is determined to give sport in the country a new look must be watchful and see that no injustice is done to the faithfuls. If the contrary happens then it could be detrimental to the player the game and country.

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