South African NIU guards to look after Oz players safety

March 6th, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Mar 6 (ANI): Security has been beefed up around the Australian cricket team ahead of the second Test after the attack by terrorists on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, South Africa has deployed National Intervention Unit guards armed with machine guns.

NIU guards, who watched the players as they trained, replaced the normal police. The unit participates in intelligence-driven operations, according to a Government website.

The Australians had a briefing in the morning and discussed their concerns with their usual security officer who co-ordinates with local authorities, the Courier Mail reported.

A two-car police escort containing NIU officers accompanied the bus to and from training.

A Cricket Australia spokesman said of the increased security: You will find that this has happened with every security unit in the world after the Pakistan attack.

Some players are more concerned than others. Brad Haddin claimed to be relaxed with the situation, but said he was disturbed by what had happened to the Sri Lankans.

It has to change the way cricket is viewed in Pakistan. There are obviously going to be massive concerns about touring Pakistan.

Haddin played down the added security around the side: Its pretty normal. 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. Security at the hotel has been great since we arrived here in Durban.

Players are advised not to wander along the beach front near the team hotel or go out after dark because Durban is a high-crime area. (ANI)

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