Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ronnie Flanagan, the chairman of the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), has assured fans that they will be kept safe during the Champions Trophy in England next month.
Flanagan’s comments come after the terrorist attack in Manchester, where 22 people were killed and dozens more injured after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert that is believed to have been carried out by Islamic State.
“Basically come safe and secure knowledge that we will make this a safe and secure tournament,” he said. “Don’t let the terrorists have their way. In my experience sport can be a wonderfully positive influence in the face of adversity and in the face of terrorism. We have seen that in South Africa. I saw at first hand in Ireland.”
Prior to joining the ICC, Flanagan was the Home Office chief inspector of constabulary for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Before that, he was the chief constable of the police service of Northern Ireland.
Given his extensive background in law enforcement, Flanagan confirmed that extra precautions will be taken and added that the ICC and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are working closely with the police.
“I have every confidence that we cannot yield in any way to terrorists’ intentions,” he said. “I would ask the public to be vigilant and the old adage, if they see something, to say something. But come to our matches.
“But, come expecting some additional inconvenience, expecting pat-down searches, vehicle searches etc. And searches of any equipment they bring with them. And there will be fast lanes for those not carrying equipment. So that might be an encouragement for people who might have normally brought picnics and all sorts of things. May be they want to reconsider that. Perhaps this tournament just might offer a little opportunity to break through the gloom in some small way.”