BBC BLOGS - David Bond

Archives for September 2010

Delhi focus turns to security

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David Bond | 11:08 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Having faced the prospect of a walk-out by some of the biggest nations in the Commonwealth last week, organisers here in Delhi are hopeful that the storm of negative publicity is passing, along with the late monsoon.

Delhi 2010 still has plenty of problems but competitors are moving in to an athletes' village which was last week described as unfit for human habitation. By Thursday the majority of British athletes will have arrived, and apart from a few gripes, the feedback from team leaders is that they are now satisfied with what they are finding.

Even the pedestrian bridge next to the showpiece Nehru Stadium looks to have been patched up after it collapsed last week.

There is still a high level of nervousness among Indian officials and Commonwealth Games Federation leaders. Both sides have been falling out publicly in recent days with the CGF chief executive Mike Hooper now public enemy number one among the Indian media for comments he apparently made about the traffic during a meeting earlier this week.

The sensitivity is such that both Hooper and the CGF president Mike Fennell have gone to ground, refusing to speak to journalists in the run-up to this Games, which should have been a turning point for an event already fighting for its long-term place on the sporting landscape.

With four days to go to the opening ceremony, the biggest concern is now security. With the Mumbai terror attacks still fresh in the memory, a Commonwealth Games in India was always going to present a significant security challenge.

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Delhi learning downside of hosting Games

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David Bond | 17:47 UK time, Wednesday, 22 September 2010

With the worldwide television exposure they offer, countries recognise the power of major sports events to promote themselves and boost their image.

And it is no coincidence that those emerging economies most commonly referred to as the Brics - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are the nations most alive to the potential of the biggest international events.

Since the International Olympic Committee took the calculated risk of taking the 2008 Games to China we have seen a run of big events going to Bric countries.

Brazil is to host the 2014 World Cup while Rio de Janeiro is staging the 2016 Olympics.

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Confused messages in Pakistan cricket crisis

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David Bond | 13:15 UK time, Thursday, 2 September 2010

Chaos. That is the only way to describe Thursday morning's turn of events in cricket's spot-fixing affair.

Wednesday night, Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told the BBC that the three players at the centre of the News of the World betting scam would be free to play in the upcoming Twenty20 and one-day series against England.

Thursday morning, the team's manager Yawar Saeed held an impromptu press conference in Taunton - where Pakistan are playing a warm-up match against Somerset - and completely contradicted him.

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