Boxing Day Test: Cricket Australia increases security after arrest of seven people in Melbourne

Australia will play Pakistan in the second Test, starting Monday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 10:51 AM IST
Boxing Day Test: Cricket Australia increases security after arrest of seven people in Melbourne

New Delhi: Following the arrest of seven people in Melbourne, Cricket Australia has increased security arrangements for the Boxing Day Test.

Australia will play Pakistan in the second Test, starting Monday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The first itself is expected to draw at least 60,000 people.

According to reports, those charged were allegedly planning to attack Melbourne's Flinders Street train station, nearby Federation Square and St. Paul's Cathedral on Christmas Day.

"Our security team is in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we have the appropriate level of security at the Boxing Day Test and other cricket matches being held around the country," chief executive James Sutherland was quoted as saying on Friday.

"The safety and security of our fans, players and officials attending any cricket match is our number one priority.

"We applaud Victoria Police for their efforts this morning in neutralising the threat and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure the highest security standards and protocols are maintained."

The MCG last month ruled out a return of the MCG's so-called "ring of steel" temporary fence for the summer of cricket, which was adopted in response to last year's Paris terror attacks.

In that security-related move late in 2015, the MCG erected a new perimeter fence about 20 to 25 meters (65 to 80 feet) away from the stadium where spectators queue to pass through security before entering the ground.

Australia won the first Test against Pakistan by 39 runs at the Gabba in Brisbane. A third test in the series begins January 3 in Sydney.

(With Agency inputs)