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Cricket-Security tight for India-Pakistan clash

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    Cricket-Security tight for India-Pakistan clash

    Cricket-Security tight for India-Pakistan clash

    LONDON, June 2 - Security will be at its tightest when India meet Pakistan in the cricket World Cup in Manchester next week, organisers said on Wednesday.

    Police and stewards are braced to ensure that border tensions that have flared this month between the two nations over Kashmir do not spill out on to the stands at
    Old Trafford next Tuesday.

    Pakistan's team manager Zafar Altaf, said the Indian and Pakistani teams had met on Wednesday at a Buckingham palace lunch hosted by Queen Elizabeth for the
    "Super Six" teams still in the competition.

    "Unfortunately there is an unfinished agenda at home," Altaf told Reuters. "But what we are concerned about is the sprit of the game. The two teams know each
    other so well."

    Police said they had consulted Lancashire Cricket Club and local community leaders "to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all fans".

    They will be using crowd control methods honed over many years of policing huge numbers of soccer fans attending home games at Manchester United.

    "Appropriate resources will be available to meet any eventuality that might arise. We police United all the time so we are used to dealing with big events," police said.

    Organisers had consulted widely with police, stewards and safety officers to ensure that "security will be at its tightest", a tournament spokeswoman said.

    There would, however, be no attempt to separate Indian and Pakistani fans as all 22,000 tickets had been sold, most of them some time ago to people who did not
    know which teams they would be watching at this stage in the competition.

    Altaf said individual fans should be given the responsibility of looking after small groups of spectators, so that any trouble could be nipped in the bud.

    "We need a different approach," he told Reuters. "Cricket should not be discredited at Old Trafford."

    The organisers have already said that any banners with political slogans will not be allowed into the ground.

    They have also made clear that after a number of pitch invasions that have raised concerns for the safety of players and umpires that they will expel the culprits.

    It is a pitch invasion that the cricketers fear the most.

    India captain Mohammad Azharuddin said earlier this week: "Even before the last wicket falls, players are thinking how to get back quickly to the pavilion.

    "It's not the Pakistan players we fear, but the fans."