Sri Lanka's role as host in the balance

Cricket

Sri Lanka's role as co-hosts of the World Cup hung in the balance last night after the organisers said they are to review security arrangements and the International Council announced that it is to monitor the situation over the next two or three days, following Wednesday's bomb blast which ripped through the capital, Colombo, and left at least 72 dead and hundreds more seriously injured.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ICC chief executive, David Richards, said: "The explosion in Colombo... is obviously a matter of concern to all countries competing in the World Cup. I have spoken this morning to Mr Dalmiya, the convenor-secretary of Pilcom [the World Cup organising committee] who has given an assurance that an assessment of the position will be carried out over the next two to three days."

Already two of New Zealand's top rugby provinces, Otago and Auckland, have cancelled two exhibition matches which were due to be played in Colombo on 8 and 11 February. That has not deterred Leicestershire who are planning to prepare for their County Championship campaign with a nine-day tour against top Sri Lankan opposition next month. Their chief executive, Tony Norman, said: "Unless we get advice to the contrary the tour is still on. There has been trouble for some years now but most of that has been in the north and we will be avoiding that district."

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to all its nationals to defer all non-essential travel. While it may be debatable as to how essential a one-day tournament held every four years may be when compared with this week's indiscriminate carnage in the country, Graham Halbish, chief executive of the Australian Board, did say last night: "I expect every player will attend the training camp in Brisbane early next week and we'll talk further there. But if any individual player feels that he is not able to make the tour, then that decision will be respected."

It has been suggested by one player that Australia may forfeit their World Cup opening match against Sri Lanka in the capital on 17 February. The pace bowler Craig McDermott, one of a number of players to have received a death threat from Sri Lanka following an ill-tempered Test series in Australia, added: "Maybe it puts all games in Colombo in jeopardy."

Zimbabwe and the West Indies are also concerned. A Zimbabwe spokesman said: "I am not sure that we would forfeit... The one alternative that comes to mind is to maybe ask for... a contingency plan for an alternative venue."

England do not have a match in Sri Lanka but the Test and County Board is staying in touch with the Foreign Office, which will also be advising the West Indies. The Sri Lankan Board insisted last night that everything was going ahead.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us