Iraq-style security for New Zealand-related cricket tours

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Wellington, Apr.27 (ANI): Increased fears over player safety on the subcontinent means New Zealand Cricket will turn to higher level security firms.

"Lahore has changed the landscape. The stakes have lifted considerably and we have to be very careful in the advice we take," Vaughan told the Sunday Star-Times.

"We need to take security to a higher level, possibly we have to look at the way [oil company] Halliburton and other US contractors in Iraq operate. Certainly it isn't an area we're willing to short-cut," he added.

Previously pre-tour security checks centered on whether the team might get caught in incident by being in the wrong place at wrong time but the question now, post-Lahore, is whether a team would be a direct target.

New Zealand Cricket Players' Association head Heath Mills said he had already had players asking him about security in Sri Lanka, where fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers has resulted in extreme travel warnings for the north-east of the country and high level warnings for the south-west, Colombo, Kandy and Galle, where the cricket tours go.

And with a New Zealand A team scheduled to go to India at the same time, there is concern following the Mumbai terror attacks and violence of the type surrounding the elections in India, which was the main reason the IPL was transferred to South Africa.

Vaughan said NZC would undertake a pre-tour security check in Sri Lanka in late June or early July. "The situation changes so rapidly that doing it too far ahead of time is pointless as you'd have to do it again nearer the time." (ANI)

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