Monday, December 22, 2008

ICC to Asses Security Condition of Pakistan before Sri Lanka’s Tour of Pakistan

After India had cancelled their pre-scheduled tour to Pakistan in January, Pakistan Cricket Board convinced Sri Lanka to come to Pakistan on a full-fledged tour to fill up the gap. Now, it seems the proposed tour is also shrouded over uncertainty as International Cricket Council (ICC) said that it would make its own security assessment before giving the final verdict on the tour.

Cricinfo reported:

"We will do an independent assessment of the situation in Pakistan to ensure the safety of the umpires and match referee," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said in Mohali during the second Test between India and England. "I am convinced the Sri Lankan board will also do everything to ascertain whether it is safe to play in Pakistan and also seek assurances from the Pakistan Cricket Board."

Security has been a major problem in organizing international cricket tournament in Pakistan over the last one year. Due to security concern, Australia cancelled their scheduled tour of Pakistan earlier this year, and then ICC postponed the pre-scheduled ICC Champions Trophy 2008 tournament which was due to take place in Pakistan in September this year. ICC rescheduled the tournament in September 2009, and the final decision about the venue of the tournament would have been taken by ICC on the basis of the success of India’s tour of Pakistan in January. Then Sri Lanka’s proposed tour to Pakistan was considered to be a good chance for Pakistan to ensure that they can provide enough security for the players and officials and are capable of organizing a tournament like Champions Trophy. Now, if ICC does not allow Pakistan to organize Sri Lanka’s tour on security concern, then PCB will lose their chance of proving their credibility as a tournament organizer and thus, Pakistan’s hopes of organizing ICC Champions Trophy will also fade away.

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