18 Apr 2010

Chef de Mission confident of security at Games

6:51 pm on 18 April 2010

The Chef de Mission of New Zealand's Commonwealth games team Dave Currie says he has confidence in the security arrangements for this year's games in India, despite the latest bombing there.

The bombings were outside an Indian Premier League cricket match in the southern state of Bangalore.

The blast happened as the captains of the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the Mumbai Indians were walking onto the pitch and caused panic among thousands of spectators at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Up to 15 people were injured.

Mr Currie, who is also the Black Caps manager, says the incident is worrying and the security situation will be monitored.

He says athletes attending the Commonwealth Games in October will be provided with the best information possible.

New Zealander Ross Taylor took part in the match in Bangalore, which was delayed by the explosion outside the stadium.

The police commissioner says a low intensity explosive was used, hidden in a wall some distance from stands where 40,000 people were sitting.

Another much bigger bomb timed to go off after the match was found before it exploded.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee says it will be seeking advice from the Government's Major Events Security Committee, following the incident.

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi are scheduled to take place in October and the NZOC says athlete safety remains its highest priority.

The organisation says it will continue to work closely with the Major Events Security Committee, the Commonwealth Games Federation and other Commonwealth Nations to monitor the situation.

Two months ago Al Qaeda warned sport teams not to attend top sporting events in India including the Hockey World Cup, cricket's Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games.

Praise for stadium staff

Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull commentated on the match from the stadium and has praised the security staff.

He says there would have been more chaos if the game had been called off.

Royal Challengers captain Anil Kumble has brushed aside suggestions that some of his overseas players refused to take the field following the explosions.

Three other New Zealanders - Black Caps captain Dan Vettori, Shane Bond and Brendon McCullum - play in the Indian Premier League and former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming coaches the Chennai side.