England death threats a hoax

CAPE TOWN, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Death threats sent to England’s World Cup squad and their families have been dismissed as a hoax by South Africa’s police and intelligence services, it emerged on Monday.

National Deputy Commissioner of Police Andre Pruis told a news conference organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that a letter containing the threats was probably the work of a group intent on disrupting the tournament.

Pruis, South Africa’s second most senior police officer. said he had consulted the country’s crime intelligence division and the secret service.

"They indicated no knowledge of the Sons and Daughters of Zimbabwe (the authors of the letter)," he said.

"It has been sent by a person with the purpose of disrupting the World Cup. This person or persons have no capacity to carry out any threat and should be treated as propaganda and not as a direct threat."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday asked the ICC to further examine the letter, sent to chief executive Tim Lamb in England in January, which said players and their families would be targeted if they played in Harare.

The England team has yet do decide whether to boycott the game on Thursday. The players have expressed concern over security as well as the social and political unrest in the country. - REUTERS