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Cricket chiefs set to impose World Cup no-fly zones

Patrick Ronan, chairman of the security directorate for the World Cup, said all practical security measures will be taken for the tournament.

“There are no guarantees in life, but we will do everything humanly possible to make the World Cup safe and fun for all involved. This could incorporate no-fly zones over stadiums,” he said.

Organisers of the FIFA World Cup to be staged in South Korea and Japan next summer have already said they will have a similar no-fly zone in place above its key venues.

Ronan said they would also consider separating supporters in potentially volatile matches involving countries such as India and Pakistan at the February 5 to March 19 tournament.

Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 World Cup, added that increased security will be employed for high risk matches.

“At this stage it seems likely that India and Pakistan will be in the same group and we will then stage their match at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, which is one of the most secure stadiums in the country,” he said.

According to Bacher, Australia had expressed concern about the possibility of pitch invasions during matches.

Captain Steve Waugh said back in June that the Australian players did not feel safe during the triangular one-day series in England, also involving the host country and Pakistan.

There were two pitch invasions during the England versus Pakistan matches and Australian all-rounder Michael Bevan was hit in the face by a beer can during the trophy presentation after the final between Australia and Pakistan.

“I’ve made it clear to our security directorate that the field remains exclusive to players and umpires and I have every confidence that they will be able to enforce this,” said Bacher.

Special mobile courts will also be set up near stadiums to ensure swift prosecutions.

The security directorate has been given a budget of eight million rand ($924,100/B