| Bacher: Ready for alternative
Nairobi: Kenya has met the ICC security requirements for hosting two World Cup matches next month, Kenyan National Sports Council chairman Joshua Okuthe said Friday.
Okuthe said a document giving an undertaking to provide standard security for the competition would be signed by government officials later.
“The government is fully committed to providing the standard security requirement by the ICC. The document detailing all this will be signed Friday and sent by courier to South Africa and ICC headquarters in London to reach them by latest on Monday,” Okuthe said.
“The issues raised by ICC have all been looked at and resolved and the private security provider will work closely with the Kenya police to ensure all goes on well.”
New Zealand are scheduled to play in Nairobi on February 21 and Sri Lanka three days later.
New Zealand raised security concerns after last November’s suicide bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa which killed 17 people and a near-miss missile attack on an Israeli jet liner about the same time.
An ICC delegation on safety and security conducted a two-day inspection tour of Kenya on January 12 and 13, which triggered speculation that the world governing body might move the two matches from Nairobi to South Africa.
Meanwhile, World Cup tournament director Ali Bacher said Friday the two matches could still be moved out of Kenya due to safety concerns. “We’re not contemplating any of the matches being moved but in the event of a worst case scenario we have the structures and the capacity to accommodate any changes if ruled by the ICC,” Bacher said.
The chairman of the World Cup Organising Committee in Kenya Sharad Ghai said it was up to the whole cricketing family and not only New Zealand as to whether the ties would go ahead.
ICC’s Zimbabwe stand
A late flurry of British political pressure has failed to persuade the ICC to move World Cup games out of Zimbabwe. Several lawmakers have written a letter to ICC president Malcolm Speed saying it would be “repugnant” for England to play there.
“We respond to all letters as a matter of courtesy But there will be no change in our position,” said ICC spokesman Brendan McClements said.
Zimbabwe’s main Opposition party MDC linked a police crackdown on its members to the World Cup and said the tournament’s organisers must accept blame after allowing the country to host some matches.