The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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After Glasgow, ECB on guard

Calcutta: The June 30 terror strike at Glasgow International Airport, less than 48 hours before Team India’s arrival there for a match which never took place, has led to tightening of security for the Rahul Dravids.

Can’t-take-a-chance seems to be the name of the game. The Indian cricketers, after all, are among the most high profile of sports fraternity-travellers.

Exactly a year ago, the touring Pakistanis had to be more vigilant after bombs went off on buses and on the tube.

“After what happened (in Glasgow) and everything that’s going on, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has appointed a security officer… He joined the team last Wednesday and is going to remain with the boys throughout the tour,” the Board’s chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty, told The Telegraph.

As the ECB wasn’t associated with the matches in Belfast and Glasgow, Wednesday marked the formal start of India’s tour.

It continues till September 8.

Speaking from Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon, Shetty added: “The ECB, I understand, has also sent a circular to the team… Clearly, all precautions are being taken…”

The security officer, apparently drawn from a private firm, is one David.

“We’ve been addressing him as David only and he’s doing a fine job… He’s on call 24x7 and is in regular touch with the ECB,” manager Rocky Rufus said from Hove.

The security bit, though, is being carried too far.

For example, the operators at the team hotel in Brighton (next to Hove) have been refusing to put calls through to the cricketers. Their explanation — “security reasons.”

It’s a line often taken by some hotels in India too.

In recent years, incidentally, the ECB has taken to arranging its own security personnel for tours to India. The last was between February-April 2006.

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