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Red Force not worried about security

By Roger Seepersad roger.seepersad@trinidadexpress.com

The change of some of the venues for the Champions League Twenty20 due to security concerns is not likely to have any major effects on the Trinidad and Tobago players, who are still upbeat and eager to go to India for what will be their final appearance as team “Red Force” in the annual tournament.

In a media release on Monday, the Champions League T20 organisers announced a change to the fixtures for the September 17 to October 6 tournament with all the Qualifier and Group Stage matches that were scheduled to be played at Hyderabad being shifted to other venues. 

However, despite the recent developments, T&T manager Omar Khan and first vice president of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Dudnath Ramkessoon said they have faith in the Champions League T20 organising committee to ensure T&T’s safety and the safety of all the teams for the duration of the tournament in India.

Khan explained that T&T travelled to India in 2009 for the inaugural Champions League when they were runners-up, and then in 2011, and both times they were satisfied with the security arrangements provided.

“At the end of the day the security of the teams is top priority for the players and so too for the organisers. We have no control over that aspect of it but I am sure the organisers have made the changes to ensure the safety of all.

The Champions League T20 media release stated: “The six Qualifier games, which were to be played at Hyderabad on 17, 18 and 20 September respectively, will now be played at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.

“Three double-headers, scheduled to be played at Hyderabad, have been shifted. Mohali will also host the double-header on 24 September. The Jharkhand International Stadium Complex, Ranchi, will host the double-header on 28 September. The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium at Motera, Ahmedabad, will host the double-header on 30 September,” the release added.

T&T’s opening match in Group B against Brisbane Heat will take place at Ranchi on September 21. They will face the winners of the Qualifier at Mohali on September 24, then Titans on September 30.

“Of course Trinidad and Tobago had some good matches at Hyderabad in 2009 and 2011, but at the end of the day we have to be prepared to play at any venue. We have to adapt to the wicket and make the necessary adjustments,” Khan said of the changes.

Asked if the management staff or the players had any concerns about security arrangements in India, Khan said: “We were very satisfied with the security provided during previous tournaments in India and I am sure the organising committee will look at what is best for the team.”

Ramkessoon echoed Khan’s views.

“The security personnel and the Champions League organisers will be well aware of the security threats.

“They will evaluate the situation there and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the players. It is important for the players to feel secure for the tournament and the organisers recognise that, hence the reason for any venue changes that they deem necessary.

“Having gone there already, I know that they are very strict as far as security is concerned, so if they make a change it is to ensure the safety of the players,” Ramkessoon ended. 

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