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July 25, 2008

Champions Trophy

A tournament of the willing

Kamran Abbasi
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf addresses the media at the Karachi airport,  June 12, 2008
 © AFP
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I'll keep this short, the general arguments have been rehearsed many times.

1 The ICC was right to support Pakistan's hosting of the Champions Trophy. Cricket should not be held hostage to unrelated incidents. As Haroon Lorgat pointed out, the reality is different to the perception.

2 It is also right that players concerned about their own security should be able to decline any tour or tournament without penalty other than the risk that their place might be taken by somebody else.

3 Three detailed arguments against the tour have emerged from the ECB. These are either inaccurate or they can be dealt with easily. The PCB and ICC need to tackle them head on and fast.

4 Argument one: Level of vehicular access to grounds. The PCB and Pakistan Government could easily offer to implement a car-free zone. It's hard to know why they wouldn't?

5 Argument two: No road clearance for player transport. Again, the PCB and Pakistan Government could make this happen.

6 Argument three: Females not subject to the same search as males. There is no issue with female security staff conducting a thorough search of female spectators.

7 This year's Champions Trophy has become a critical test of the unity of international cricket and the wisdom of administrators. Above all, the PCB and the Pakistan Government must do everything in their power to address the concerns of the international community and make the tournament a security success.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Posted by suliman iqbal on (August 13, 2008, 11:21 GMT)

i have been a bit suprised that the australian CB hasnt sent a security team to india after the bomb attacks a couple of weeks ago,they are touring thier in november, they should cancel the IPL if there are bomb attacks before the start of the tournament,if its blaming pakistan for bieng an islamic or terrorist country, for gods sake there are about the same amount of muslims in india, i dont see england,SA,AUS or NZ boycotting tours there, the western media have portrayed us as some kind of blood sucking vampires, we are normal people, these same ediots used to love our players such as imran, wasim, waqar and used to praise them on bowling on tough pitches, if the best players in the world want to prove themselves,come to pakistan and prove yourself as a bowler or batsman,its probably the toughest place to play cricket,not the best bowling or batting pitches, we still get championsi know why symonds is not coming to PK cos there isn't any good fishing spots in pk,he's and absolute ass

Posted by Arsalan Iqtidar on (August 7, 2008, 15:21 GMT)

Hi,

Its such a shame that when almost all teams are willing to play in pakistan we are not able to complete the construction work. This is the hight of bad planning on part pf Pakistan Cricket Board. At least I know the pindi stadium was constructed well before. They could have easily made a part of it again instead of digging the whole area.

Posted by Ahmer on (August 5, 2008, 11:29 GMT)

To Barath,

I dont see any pakistani's on this forum criticizing india or the BCCI. In fact most are grateful for Indias support and are mainly critical of the 'white nations'. I for one do worry about BCCI's financial clout but am glad that they are using it to good effect with regards to supporting pakistan. although that may be hypocritical.

On the main issue, you cant make players come against their will, but it does feel like security is being used as an excuse. As an 'ally' of the 'war on terror', surely the way Eng and Aus could show solidarity with Pak would be to provide adequate security and so turn up and play in complete safety rather than boycott the CT

Posted by irfan on (July 29, 2008, 15:12 GMT)

It is very unfortunate that for the bloggers to pay attention, the main story has to give people a chance to slam some body. Be it Dr. Naseem Ashraf or Shoaib Akhtar or whoever has been in the news lately with a negative slant. As opposed to a few views that I have read not too long ago labeling Kamran as a sensationalist this one is rather bland for them and hence the lukewarm response to this post. Although, I think that this piece of writing should have evoked some sensible blogging based on logic and reason. I have read some bloggers in this thread who are opposed to the idea of having CT in Pak and it makes sense and then there are some others who wrote in favour and they are not all that far from the truth and facts. So, it is a difficult subject, and I pray that whatever the outcome may be it doesn't fracture the relationship Pak cricket has with other playing nations any further.

Posted by Barath on (July 28, 2008, 21:26 GMT)

I don't mean to flare up an argument here and neither am I a supporter of BCCI's policies. But I am surprised that most Pakistani fans here start criticizing India's clout when all the while BCCI has been steadfastly supporting the idea of a tournament in Pakistan. In fact, I don't remember our two boards disagreeing on any issue in the last five years! (except the whole icl thing, of course!)

Posted by TheTruth on (July 27, 2008, 18:03 GMT)

How come there are Australian companies and their citizens working in Pakistan? They are certainly not soldiers either. What about recent bomb blasts in China and serious terrorist threats to Olympics? Are Australians or for that matter other western countries going to boycott that as well? The truth is that these western countries are full of double standards, on one side they boycott Zimbabwe for the human rights violations but at the same time they are willing to support the Olympics being held in China even though there were serious human rights violations in Tibet? I just don't believe these moral and security accusations anymore because they are just rubbish.

Posted by Don on (July 27, 2008, 10:54 GMT)

Currently, the prevailing spirit is that Australia shouldn't send a team AT ALL. Not a B team (which would be very atypical) and not a weakened team. Either send your best or none at all. The argument about "war on terrorism" would be more palatable if sending troops was the issue. There is no question that allies in a war should help each other. Sportspeople are just that. They are paid just to play. If there is risk involved there is no reason for them to go. If the stadium is unsafe then they won't play. If the changing rooms don't meet standards then they won't play. If there is a threat of terrorism then they won't play. I reckon it's more of a national issue then a cricket one. Australia still has a strong negative assessment of security conditions in Pakistan and advises Australians not to travel there. So what do you want the cricket players to think when their own government says it does not advise them to go?

Posted by ehjaz afzal on (July 27, 2008, 5:53 GMT)

After the recent bomb blasts in India (Banglore and Ahmedabad), I would like to know would Aussies, Eng and Nz refuse to tour India in future??

Posted by South African on (July 26, 2008, 13:46 GMT)

So KP from England and Graeme Smith also now add their reservations about playing in Pakistan.The daily crime in South Africa is a much more serious threat to local South Africans and foreigners than the security situation in Pakistan.The architects of the decision not to play in Pakistan, and those who echo the same sentiments are a bunch of liars hiding behind a poor excuse.Pakistan is a muslim country and the white cricketers and their supporters have no respect for muslims considering how the western media portrays them.Hashim Amla, a devout muslim was even referrred to as a 'terrorist' by an AUSTRALIAN commentater.Pakistan is not a place where non muslim cricketers can party and booze as they wish, which is why thickheaded crickerters like symonds,KP, SMITH and their pals do not wish to tour.The ICC should stand firm and not allow itself to be dictated by racist cricketers and their representatives.

Posted by Kumar on (July 26, 2008, 12:09 GMT)

If Symonds, KP or anyone for that matter is concerned about the safety of Pakistan, they should be allowed to skip without any issue. The key point of Aussie Champs post is this: London / Spain/India bombings dont scare of teams becos security agencies of these countries dont have jihadi sympathizers or moles and thus make all security efforts redundant. If people cannot trust the government and the security agencies, then there is no way out.

Instead of beating their head repeatedly about this issue, Pakistanis should try to improve their government and security first.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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