Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand to take on Sri Lanka amid security check

With both nations faced terrorist attacks in recent times, will players be wearing armbands?

Dimuth Karunaratne will lead Sri Lanka into battle as they take on New Zealand in Cardiff today. Andrew Boyers / Reuters
Dimuth Karunaratne will lead Sri Lanka into battle as they take on New Zealand in Cardiff today. Andrew Boyers / Reuters

New Zealand take on Sri Lanka in their 2019 Cricket World Cup opener amid tight security with both nations having experienced terrorist attacks in recent times.

The two teams clash in Cardiff at 1.30pm even as Britain seems to be dealing with a national threat level of "severe". Officials, though, sound confident about security measures put in place for a tournament reportedly rated a "moderate" security risk.

In March, 51 worshippers were shot dead in mosque attacks in the New Zealand city of Christchurch while more than 250 people died in Sri Lanka as a result of suicide bombings on Easter Sunday.

"When those incidents happened so close to the tournament, quite understandably that did cause some nervousness," Jill McCracken, the World Cup safety and security director, said at The Oval on Monday.

Public events in Britain have not been immune from terror incidents in recent years, with 23 people killed in a suicide bomb attack after a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester two years ago.

McCracken, explaining the security position regarding the World Cup, added: "The UK national threat level sits at 'severe', which means an attack is likely.

"But we also work with security services to assess the impact of the tournament itself and they have come to us with a bespoke threat for the event which is 'moderate' - the second lowest on the scale of risk.

"The threat in the UK is always around crowded places, they look for mass casualties, but when you look at the security measures that we have around the venues, around the teams, and the background work we do, that actually reduces threat."

Meanwhile, it is to be seen whether players of both sides will decide to wear armbands in honour of those who died.

Published: June 1, 2019 11:19 AM

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