Bangalore: The latest revival series, featuring India and Pakistan, is being regarded as “very sensitive” both by the security wing of the Establishment and the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).
So much so that Mohammed Hafeez and his players don’t even have the liberty of interacting with people known to them locally, in the lobby of the luxurious ITC Gardenia here.
On Sunday night, for example, Hafeez and two teammates (Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal) were specifically asked not to talk to somebody, despite him being familiar, by the security personnel.
Later, a member of the Pakistan contingent told The Telegraph: “A hotel lobby is public space... Out of a 100 people, 99 won’t do anything, but one person could do something. These are difficult times, particularly for us, and that should be appreciated.”
Pakistan’s security in-charge is a retired army officer. He’s a regular fixture.
The Union home ministry has, by the way, deputed a security officer to travel with the visitors. The tour involves two T20 Internationals and three ODIs.
That’s the security bit.
As for the ACSU, it has assigned two security managers to keep a watch on the goings-on. Usually, only one is put on the job in every series.
“It wasn’t too long ago that three Pakistani players were imprisoned for spot-fixing... Off and on, allegations keep being made... It’s with a purpose that two security managers will be keeping a watch on the T20s and the ODIs,” a well-placed source said on Monday evening.
Of course, it’s not that only Pakistani players are being ‘watched’.