Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pak, Windies in city to play first quarterfinals

Dhaka: Pakistan and West Indies teams arrived in Dhaka on Monday evening to take part in the first quarter-final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup to be held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on March 23. Pakistan team led by the mercurial all-rounder Shahid Afridi arrived in the capital directly from Sri Lanka. They will practice at the Mirpur stadium from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday.
The spirited Pakistan outfit ended on top of Group A points table with ten points from six matches. The team is on a high after whacking past mighty Australians by four wickets in a thrilling last group match encounter at Colombo on March 19.
Pakistan only lost to New Zealand in their group matches- conceding a 110-run defeat  but flayed Kenya, Zimbabwe, Canada, host Sri Lanka and hot favorites Australia.
On the other hand, the West Indies side led by Darren Sammy also arrived in Bangladesh directly from Chennai, India. They will also practice in the same venue from 10 am to 1pm on the day.
West Indies, who were in the fourth position in Group B with six points from six matches, scythed down Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands in the group phase.
Bangladesh too ended with six points but lagged far behind in net run rate after humiliating defeats to West Indies and South Africa.
In another developed it was learnt from informed sources that the West Indies team have been assured of state level security during their stay in Bangladesh. After the Caribbean outfit inflicted a shameful defeat on the hosts frustrated fans pelted their team bus with stones as it was leaving the stadium. This raised serious security concerns.
Meanwhile, Dhaka police commissioner Benazir Ahmed told AFP the West Indies team would be provided with the “highest security” possible  and police would made sure there was no “crowd trouble”.
“The West Indies are our valued guests and we will ensure the highest state-level security to them. It’s a state-level commitment. We shall make sure that there is no crowd along the key parts of the road to the stadium,” he said.
“They can be assured of fool-proof security,” he added.
He said the same security arrangement was provided to the South African team when they took on Bangladesh at the same stadium Saturday.
The home side lost the match and crashed out of the World Cup but this time there was no angry reaction from fans.
International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat had downplayed the March 4 bus attack, insisting it was a minor incident, but West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said it was a serious breach of security.
He said West Indies players took cover on the floor of the bus.
Police said the attack was a case of mistaken identity as the fans’ real target was the Bangladesh team vehicle.
Police and elite security force, the Rapid Action Battalion, arrested 38 people in connection with the attack.
Fans also attacked Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan’s home.
Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle blasted Bangladeshi officials for the attack through a Twitter message while the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) claimed that more should have been done to protect the players.

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