ICC blasts Windies bus attack, Dhaka stays as host
CHENNAI: International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat Saturday condemned the attack on the West Indies team bus by Bangladesh fans but said there were no immediate plans to move games.
Home supporters reacted angrily after seeing their side bowled out for just 58 by the West Indies in Dhaka on Friday in a World Cup match the visitors won by nine wickets.
The bus came under attack as it was heading back to the West Indies’ team hotel after the match, in what police said was a case of mistaken identity, with fans thinking it was the home team’s vehicle.
Lorgat said the ICC had no immediate plans to move matches from Bangladesh, with England and South Africa still to play group fixtures in the country against the Tigers.
Two quarter-finals are also scheduled for Dhaka.
“The reaction is one of disappointment, because that’s exactly what we’d not like to see but I think we must have perspective,” Lorgat said. “It was a minor incident.
“It was some disappointed fans, as a result of the home team being defeated so convincingly by the visitors. My understanding is that a few individuals threw pebbles at the bus.
“With that particular incident we will re-assess but I’ve said before I am very, very pleased with the maturity of the security measures we’ve got, the expertise, the experience we’ve got on board.”
Asked if games could be moved from Bangladesh, should teams object on security grounds, Lorgat replied: “We would not move the games lightly but it is not something which we would discount completely.
“I don’t believe that particular incident justifies any game being moved just yet. I am extremely confident we will see the tournament through as scheduled.”
In a separate incident, the home of Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was also stoned on Friday, breaking a window, police said.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose own home was attacked after a first round exit in 2007, told fans to control themselves.
“It is unfortunate, but that is how the fans react. You should remember that players are not living at home, but their families are and families don’t have anything to do with cricket,” said Dhoni.
“You have to control your emotions. When we win a game I don’t go around beating my fans, saying that you bashed my house in 2007.”Bangladesh has stepped up security after Friday’s incidents.
“We have enhanced security arrangements for the World Cup,” said Mesbah Uddin Serniabat, who is the security director for the tournament’s local organising committee.
“We will keep the pedestrians a little away from the team buses and motorcade and police teams will be patrolling the streets more intensively.”
Police and the elite Rapid Action Battalion arrested 38 suspects after the bus stoning.
England and South Africa face each other in Chennai on Sunday before they both play group matches in Bangladesh.
Andrew Strauss, the England captain, whose side play in Chittagong on March 11, said: “It’s hard for me to comment. I wasn’t there and don’t know what the situation was.
“Clearly security is very important and, as far as we’re concerned, we’ve had no issues.”
South Africa captain Graeme Smith added: “We were a bit shocked as to what happened. Obviously we need to try to let our security and management take care of that like we’ve always done.
“Hopefully, it won’t happen again and lessons will be learned.”