India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup clash prompts New York to beef up security

State governor says there are no ‘credible threats’ to the tournament or the India-Pakistan match on June 9.

Indian cricket fan
Tens of thousands of cricket fans from India and Pakistan are expected to be in New York for the match on June 9 [File: Ajit Solanki/AP]

Security arrangements in New York will be “elevated” for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, especially ahead of the marquee clash between India and Pakistan at Eisenhower Park in Long Island, the state’s governor has said.

The South Asian rivals are set to meet at the Nassau County Stadium in Eisenhower Park, Long Island on June 9 in a Group A fixture that is expected to be a sellout, attracting tens of thousands of cricket fans to New York.

“In preparation for the @cricketworldcup, my team has been working with federal & local law enforcement to keep attendees safe,” Governor Kathy Hochul wrote in a post on X on Wednesday but added that there was “no credible threat at this time”.

Hochul said she had asked the state police to elevate security measures and the state will “continue to monitor” them in the lead-up to the tournament.

‘Largest security we’ve ever had to do’

However, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the police department will not take any chances.

“When you’ve got a game and a crowd as big as this, everything is credible,” he told CBS News on Wednesday.

Ryder said the World Cup received a threat linked to the ISIL in Afghanistan in April and more specific threats over the India versus Pakistan match and his department has taken “many, many precautions”.

“As well as making sure that the stadium and the surrounding Eisenhower Park are safe, the parking areas are safe, the watch areas are safe, we also are adding 100 additional police officers to our normal staffing for the rest of the county, just as a precaution,” he told CBS News.

“We will go through every fine detail when it comes to the security and safety of the residents here in Nassau County,” Ryder said.

“I can guarantee you this is the largest security we’ve ever had to do in this county’s history, and I can also guarantee you the safest place to be in Nassau County on June 9 will be inside that stadium.”

A New York City Police Department bulletin cited by ABC News also highlighted the importance of the game, saying: “The tournament and related events in New York City could be viewed by extremists as an opportunity to commit acts of violence or disruption.”

“Recent pro-ISIS propaganda which specifically referenced the upcoming India-Pakistan match at this major event … raises concerns and reinforces the need for heightened vigilance” among security partners, the bulletin was quoted as saying.

The United States is hosting an ICC World Cup for the first time, along with West Indies, and half of the 16 matches being held in the US will be played at the purpose-built modular stadium in New York.

New York will host its first game of the tournament on June 3, when Sri Lanka and South Africa meet in a Group D fixture, and the last one will be the host nation’s clash against India on June 12.

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Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies