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Security beefed up for Australians in SA

Guards and police officers are swarming the team hotel in Durban, venue of the second Test.

IANS |March 7, 2009, 12:31 PM IST
Security beefed up for Australians in SA

Melbourne: The attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore has prompted the South African cricket authorities to beef up the security for the visiting Australian team.

Guards and police officers are swarming the team hotel in Durban, venue of the second Test. They wear bullet-proof vests and carry machine guns, patrolling the hotel with grim faces, adding to the overwhelming anxiety caused by the terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Johannesburg, where the first Test was held last week, is a dangerous city and security was low-key but after the Australian team's arrival in Durban that coincided with the attacks in Lahore, machine gun-totting security officials are all over.

The Age reported that the Australian team practised at Sahara Stadium at Kingsmead, Durban, as bullet-proof wearing security personals with guns in hand kept a close eye.

"I thought it would be stupid for any extremist group to target cricketers because they just lose so much support," Australia's batsman Mike Hussey was quoted as saying by the daily.

"That's the advice we were often told - but it's probably a bit of a naive view, really," he added.

Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said: "From the start of the tour, the security has been great. We go through a pre-tour visit before we go to any country to make sure everything is fine. There will obviously be massive concerns now - I don't know the time period you look at with something like this, but there are obviously going to be massive concerns about touring Pakistan. It has to change the way cricket is viewed in Pakistan."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more