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Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:46 UK

IPL players' safety 'compromised' in Bangalore blasts

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World Cup will be safer - PCA boss

A senior official says player safety was compromised when play went ahead despite bomb blasts before an Indian Premier League match on Saturday.

Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive Angus Porter told BBC Sport: "I don't think it's any secret there were some problems in Bangalore.

"When an explosive device was found the decision to progress with that game was made too early.

"I think we can say that safety was compromised on that occasion."

Fifteen people were injured by two blasts outside Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, while three other crude bombs were found and defused a day later.

There was not the promised level of support for the coach, there wasn't a police escort and they found themselves having to make their way through the very heavy traffic and getting caught in quite a vulnerable position

Porter on players' departure from Bangalore

The match, which saw Kevin Pietersen's Bangalore Royal Challengers lose to Mumbai Indians, went ahead with about 40,000 people in Chinnaswamy Stadium.

"At the time they decided to play it wasn't known there was a total of five devices altogether. I don't think there was full possession of the facts," added Porter.

The incident has resulted in the IPL semi-finals being moved from Bangalore to Mumbai, but Porter said he still expected England batsman Pietersen to play.

"I think all the team went through quite a challenging situation in recent days, but knowing Kevin he'll be up and ready for the semi-finals, assuming he's selected to play," said Porter.

However, Porter added that the manner of the team's departure from Bangalore was also a cause for concern.

"There was not the promised level of support for the coach, there wasn't a police escort and they found themselves having to make their way through the very heavy traffic and getting caught in quite a vulnerable position," said Porter.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that the time teams are most vulnerable is when they're in transit.

"We've spoken to a number of the players and we've understood that it was concerning.

A security expert investigates damage caused by one of the blasts
One of the blasts blew away part of a wall outside the stadium

"We also understand from the organisers' point of view that it was quite a challenge for them to conclude their arrangements satisfactorily, so at this point we're not trying to cast blame.

"We're just saying that we think it was not satisfactory and there are lessons to be learned, and those lessons should be learned in preparation for the World Cup and other future events."

India is the primary host for the 2011 World Cup and will host 29 of the tournament's 39 matches.

"I think it's an easier event to manage in two respects," added Porter.

"First of all it is properly an international competition, and therefore the level of scrutiny at the most senior levels in the Indian government will be higher, I think the security arrangements will be better than for the IPL, which is really a domestic event with some international players.

"The second reason we should be more confident about the World Cup is that when you've got national teams they're working within well-established management structures, with security advisers they know and trust, and therefore are better placed to make informed decisions about what is safe."

Speaking to BBC Sport on Monday, Shashank Manohar, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) played down the significance of the incident in Bangalore.

"The semi-finals have been moved to Mumbai, so we are very happy with the security situation now," he said.

"The police are carrying out an investigation into the incident and will give us a report once it's completed. The players are happy now."



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see also
IPL blasts concern union chiefs
19 Apr 10 |  Cricket
IPL semis switched after blasts
18 Apr 10 |  Cricket
'Bomb' targets India cricket game
17 Apr 10 |  South Asia
IPL under way amid security fears
12 Mar 10 |  South Asia
Players worried over IPL security
18 Feb 10 |  Cricket
Deccan beat Bangalore to win IPL
24 May 09 |  Cricket
Warne's Royals win inaugural IPL
02 Jun 08 |  Cricket


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