LAHORE - Police have intensified security sweep all across the provincial metropolis ahead of second T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe teams to be played in the Qaddafi stadium on Sunday (today).

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Amin Wains took a round of the city on Saturday and reviewed the security arrangements for the visiting team. DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf also accompanied the city police chief.

According to the security plan, the police would implement the same strategy and security protocol evolved for the visiting team. However, police deployment has been increased in different parts of the metropolis.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, Lahore CCPO Amin Wains said that they would not leave any stone unturned to ensure best security arrangements since the future of international cricket on the home grounds is linked to the success of this tour. “The police will also provide security cover to the cricket fans. This is not just cricket. It’s the matter of Pakistan’s prestige to ensure safety and security of our guests.”

While appreciating the policemen who are performing security duties at the Gaddafi Stadium in temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius, the Lahore police chief said that the police constables and commandoes are in fact “backbone of the law enforcement agency.” He also announced cash prizes and commendatory certificates for the policemen who are selected as ‘best cops” as far as security duties are concerned.

Addressing the policemen, he said that the police must show similar spirit during the upcoming matches by paying respect to the cricket fans as well. He also thanked the people for extending cooperation to the cops during strict checking.

On this occasion, the CCPO directed the officers to provide water bottles and food to the on-duty policemen on time and no leniency would be tolerated in this regard.

More that 9000 police personnel including a great number of Elite Police Force (EPF) commandoes would be deployed on security duties in Lahore for Sunday’s match.

Apart from aerial surveillance, there will be four-layer security for the visiting team. The policemen are also directed to carry out snap-checking and physical search of every person at three different points before allowing anyone to enter the stadium.

Also, more than 2000 specially-trained commandoes will be put on their toes to maintain peace and law and order in the Punjab capital.

A day earlier, Lahore DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf told reporters that they had taken various important steps to ensure smooth and safe passage for the motorcades of the cricket team (from hotel to stadium and back).

“We have put a proper system in place to ensure close monitoring of every object (in and around the stadium). Everything is being monitored through different sources,” Haider Ashraf added.

Security officials are expecting huge rush of cricket fans on Sunday as tickets for the Sunday's T20s in Lahore are already sold out within two days. Dozens of CCTV cameras are also installed in the surroundings of the stadium.

There was extraordinary police patrolling on some important roads on Saturday as the visiting team traveled to the stadium for practice. The police were also put on high-alert in the evening as both the Pakistani and Zimbabwe teams visited a leading Garrison Golf Club for dinner.

According to police, three helicopters will continue hovering over the sky for aerial surveillance during the match on Sunday while police are ordered to continue patrolling on gun-fitted vehicles on all the roads which lead to the stadium.

Apart from heavy police contingents, sharp-shooters and well-trained commandoes would also be deployed on different roads to provide security to the visiting Zimbabwe team. The field officers are also directed to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) since the Zimbabwe team has been enjoying the status of “state guests” in the country, where everybody loves the sport.