PCB confident of ICC ruling on WACA security breach
The PCB is confident that the ICC is best placed to take further the issue of the security breach that saw a spectator run onto the field and tackle a Pakistan player on the field in Perth, during the fifth ODI between Australia and Pakistan on Sunday.
Khalid Latif was taken down by a fan as the game drew to a close at the WACA; the man in question has been charged with assault and been handed a life ban from the ground. The incident spurred the Pakistan sports minister into urging Cricket Australia (CA) to set up barriers at grounds and put a ban on alcohol. The PCB, however, says only that the ICC will handle the matter from here on.
"We have been in touch with CA and the ICC. The ICC has a set of procedures in place that govern such issues in bilateral series so they will act accordingly now," Wasim Bari, the PCB's chief operating officer, told Cricinfo.
The ICC has already asked CA for a report on the matter and expressed its concern over the breach of security. The matter is now likely to be discussed at the executive board's meeting in Dubai from February 9.
"Obviously with any incident of this kind, we are concerned," Bari said. "It is the responsibility of the home state and the home board and they have very strict state laws in place for such things. But there is a procedure in place to handle it and it will be done in that way. It will probably be brought up at the ICC meeting."
Bari refused to comment on reports that CA had communicated an apology to the PCB over the incident, maintaining only that there "has been some correspondence between us."
The country's sports minister, however, believes this may be a good time for CA to bring in the kind of barriers and security measures in place at subcontinent venues. ''The thing that really worried me, what if that person had a knife on him, he got there and could have done anything he wanted,'' Ijaz Jhakrani told the Sydney Morning Herald.
''They should ban alcohol at grounds. There should be some kind of barrier or restriction to stop people entering the ground. This is the right time to think about these things. It is no good waiting for someone to die before making decisions.''
Pakistan's players are not, however, overly concerned about the breach according to team officials in Australia. "The players are fine. They are not concerned at all about this," an official told Cricinfo. "Security came and apologized to us for the breach and we're confident it will be ok in Melbourne."
The incident was one of several ones to occur at grounds through their long tour this summer. There is one match to go, a Twenty20 international at the MCG on February 5, in front of what is expected to be a big crowd. During the Boxing Day Test earlier, one spectator managed to run diagonally almost across the entire ground before he was brought down by security staff.
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo