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ICC umpires' safety won't be risked - Richardson

Mohammad Isam

March 22, 2014

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Dave Richardson at the ICC Awards shortlist announcement, Mumbai, December 3, 2013
"We have our duty of care to our employees and people that are contracted to us," Dave Richardson said © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: David Richardson

Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has said that the security of neutral umpires employed by them would not be risked under any circumstances. Richardson was speaking on whether Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan - in case the trip is brought up in the near future - would depend on the availability of third-country umpires.

Bangladesh twice put on hold a tour to Pakistan in 2012 citing security reasons. Earlier in the same year when the discussion between the two boards was ongoing, the ICC introduced a "special dispensation" to be made only in "exceptional circumstances" in order to ensure that bilateral series take place even if the ruling body has determined it "unsafe" to appoint its officials for such series. It would allow such series to be manned by "non-neutral match officials", a departure from the ICC's standard playing conditions, pending permission from the ICC's executive board.

"We have our duty of care to our employees and people that are contracted to us," Richardson said in Dhaka. "So we would have to look at the security situation to come to a conclusion. Is it safe to send them there? If it is, we would have no problem sending umpires to Pakistan. If it's not safe, we have a duty of care to them and we'd say no."

The March 2012 directive opened a window for the Bangladesh tour to go ahead, but later it was stopped, first by a court order, and then at the end of the 2012, due to more security concerns.

Richardson said that when the tour was being discussed, unavailability of neutral umpires was not a major factor. "They would have to go to the board and ask for dispensation from the rules regarding appointment of umpires. At the moment our rules for ODIs and Test cricket require the appointment of neutral umpires - ODIs [need] only one but Test cricket requires both to be neutral.

"If there's going to be an exception from that, the board will need to grant it. But that's not to say that they wouldn't. Previously, when Pakistan and Bangladesh were considering a tour, the board had already said that the non-availability of neutral umpires should not be the determining factor as to whether the series takes place or not."

BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said that although Bangladesh were not considering a tour to Pakistan presently, they would consider it once the ICC signals something positive.

"As of now, we don't have a plan to tour Pakistan but if the ICC tells us that it is a safe environment, the BCB will definitely consider it," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (March 28, 2014, 20:19 GMT)

Dave, you got to be concern 4.5KV terror that prevailed over WC cricketing grounds in Bangladesh. You not only put umpires at risk but you put both teams and all the cricket loving fans at tremendous risk. That is the definition of risk which you nor your working team has provided any solution; maybe you ought to make connection to Almighty Supreme Power before laying out future game. Terrible situation happened, now just get it over with, put back the fun to fun loving cricketing nation; otherwise it boils down to simple discrimination. No matter, what layer of excuse you may put forward.

Posted by Asif_Iqbal on (March 28, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

do we need Bangladesh tour ? i dont think so and we are set to play in UAE and I think we should play there unless the situation is not better here in Pakistan

Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

BD sl and india shud support pakistan by sending their teams sothat int cric is brought back to our country

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (March 25, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

@immi2711: The quality of the team doesn't matter because at the end of the day value of an innocent life is far more precious than a cricket match however I dont expect a Pakistani to understand that. @Desihungama: I think the definition of better security situation is different to the rest of the world. Everyday there is some sort of security breach happening in Pakistan. Threat from terrorist is still imminent yet to Pakistanis its alright but for the rest of the world it is not. If an International team visit Pakistan Terrorist will try to attack them to attract the world's attention and I dont think Pakistan is enable to provide security. Apart from cricket Pakistan is good at pretty much nothing so rather than asking others to tour you by claiming it is safe sort out your own problem. People will tour. Regardless how you are as a nation you have a great cricket team and people will love to see cricket back at their home

Posted by avmd on (March 24, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

We want, a true International cricket to return to Pakistan and not the team which lost to Afghanistan and Hong kong. We can wait, things will improve and we'll welcome international teams to Pakistan. BD can stay at home, improve your team and make yourself worth competing to Pakistan before expect an invite.

Posted by asporag on (March 24, 2014, 21:58 GMT)

As a true fan of cricket I have to say that, the sense of the power of test cricket Bangladesh may be a minnow country but the reality of security condition Pakistan is surely a minnow country.

Life is more valuable than cricket. When Pakistan is failing to ensure the security of their governor, ministers even,how come they will do it to a foreign team??? We shouldn't forget that the Sri Lanka team was given the same assurance of security then and thereafter what happened is well known to the world.

In this situation, Bangladesh is out of question even the team like China, Nepal ,Papua New Guiney will not visit to Pakistan.

It is Pakistan, who made the situation worst so it is their duty make the environment safe again. Hopefully then, the rest of the world will tour you again, not before that.

Posted by Desihungama on (March 24, 2014, 20:21 GMT)

People commenting on Pakistan security situation from ten thousand miles. Wow. How refreshing. I am too but at least I am in touch with reality by visiting the country regularly. Yes, the attack on SL tea was black mark that will never go away but it was primarily due to bickering between two opposite governments who had just tasted democracy and were busy in their shenanigans rather than doing their jobs. That Presidential Security was a joke. Things have changed far far too much since that episode. Don't dignitaries, diplomats and god knows half the western spying personnel live there? Yes, situation at one time was quiet so bad but not so now and I don't see why a team cannot travel there in a confined atmosphere just as they do anywhere in sub continent? Why have Australia refused to travel since 97?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 20:03 GMT)

Security situation in Lahore is much much better , so I beleive it is quite safe for many teams to come there , we should start with teams like , netherland , Ireland , Zimbabwe , Afghanistan ETC ETC , I beleive if PCB work on it , It can be posible slowly but surely , Good luck Pakistan Cricket

Posted by immi2711 on (March 24, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

AHHHHHH!!!!!! so it has come down to this, that a country like Bangladesh is bitching about security in Pakistan....on another day, Pak would give 2 shits about playing Bangldesh....

hmmm ... what to do? As a Pakistani....as much as I would like to see foreign teams come to Pakistan.... I still dont think it is the safest place for teams to come.... There are so many bad elements in Pakistan, and government has no control over it.

@ Ayaz Khan... Karachi is no worst than other cities. wake up idiot...All the bad elements from the rest of the country have been pushed into Karachi...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

Given that the Bangladeshi representative in ICC board promised a tour of Pakistan, Bangladesh should tour Pakistan. If needed, Bangladesh should send their security personnels to secure their team in addition to Pakistani security.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

I would also tell bengali fans that the recent t20 domestic tournament saw more than 200000 people attending it and the security was fool proof with the place swarming security people and metal detectors out side stadium. this proves 2 things (a)security situation is good (b) pakistani people are peace loving people and they feel safe to gather in huge crowds.i hope are board will give bcb details of latest t20 to make them more comfortable and address their concerns . what do u think on thisworld cricket

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 3:11 GMT)

If i as a pakistani would assess the situation dispassionately. 3 major things have changed since march 3 2009 (day srilankan team was attacked) 1 security situations in major cities barring karachi has been far better . 2 the government has changed and this government is far more responsible besides during that time there was political turmoil in lahore the governor had been changed before time and everything was chaos. 3 however this time round we have a responsible chairman who has already coordinated with a stable govt to bring teams to pak. I think bangladesh shd send a security team so should the icc and see for themselves. Bangladesh have an exciting team and an exciting group of fans. however lack of fixtures has plagued you. besides if you tour it would probably be a short tour followede by a return tour by pak to bangladesh plus our players would then obviously be allowed to play bpl as a reciprocating favour. i would like bengali fans to tell me what do they think now.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 22:39 GMT)

i see people here pretending to have doctorate level understanding of the situation in pakistan. they are all so wise! sure no one should travel to pakistan and play cricket there. but not because of terrorism, but for the fact that pakistan is systematically pushed into a corner and eventually these elements want to see it stranded.so much for administrative muscle, when not one of the major 3 principals of this maneuverhave the teams to completely dominate pakistan, not have the character either! a loss of cricket in pakistan is for sure a loss to the pakistani fans, but its even a bigger loss to world cricket. it loses a fan base only next to india in size, hence a huge market.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 20:15 GMT)

just "NO" to Pakistan tour......

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

It is not worth having a test series or any limited over matches against BD in Pakistan. I cannot see there being much interest as it would probably be one sided affair. It is more in the interest of BD that they tour Pakistan as they need to improve and playing against top team would provide them with opportunity to become better cricketing nation. Pakistan should be making efforts to invite India and Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan by providing them top level security. Contest between these three countries benefits all and provides opportunity to challenge the current superiority of teams like South Africa, Australia and England. For cricket to prosper in the sub continent all three major Asian countries need each other and isolating Pakistan does more harm than good.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

If anybody thinks BCB chickened out of the deal to play in pak. then think again. They were ready, but the parents of the players protested vehemently. everybody feels for pak cricket, but no one wants to risk their lives for it.

Posted by BARFI on (March 23, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

BD should create a long lasting Contract with PAK to play cricket regularly. Create a rivalry like Ashes. Keep it up and help each other. PAK should not abandon bilateral relationship to play match with INDIA only if BD gave them a second chance.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

Pak should provide more than presidential level security to BD and then BD should go there. BCB should send their own security instead of letting ICC to determine the safety issue as BCB is more responsible for their own security. BD can negotiate with PAK and play more games there since it is a good chance to ask for more matches since PAK is desperately looking to play in PAK. My request to BD is go there and play cricket and get more experience.

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (March 23, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

@Copernicus: Totally agree with you. Pakistan dont have international cricket in Pakistan because of their own fault but they are too busy blaming others for not touring their country. First they should try to solve their own problem than others will tour them. I agree that cricket needs to get back in Pakistan for the sake of their young players however at the end of the day Cricket is just a sports. Why would anyone risk their life for it?

Posted by android_user on (March 23, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

Bangladesh shouldnt tour on pakistan after they have done on the #BPLt20 BD.

because of them we had to buy players overnight

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 1:18 GMT)

It's not all about the good interest to go to Pakistan, rather huge pressure from mass people to consider their emotions to the national team's security. This could be same for any country.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 0:08 GMT)

How can anyone possibly argue that sending a test team right now to Pakistan is worth the risk. Im a fan of Pakistani cricket as much as the next person, but as Copernicus said, the last time a team went and that was with heightened security and reassurances from the government the Sri Lankan team got shot at. It's not about satisfying fans its about the best players in the world not getting killed. Now if the BCB are willing to risk it, then fine, that's on them and its their and their players call. Perhaps send an Umpire with he team and have one umpire from each team. But simply enough time of stability and peace has not passed that I would like to see anyone being forced to take the risk.

Posted by Zhardi on (March 22, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

I don't want to hurt any Pakistani fans but I believe it will be quite risky to send the Bangladesh cricket team to Pakistan, just because they are a minnow nation doesn't mean that they should be sent to Pakistan as a Test Dummy. ICC should just let things move around as they are at the moment, Pakistani players are safer to play their matches in U.A.E than in Pakistan, we all know that. Pakistan is a paradise for terrorists and we have seen what happened to Srilankan players. I don't feel any sorry for Pakistan cricket, the fans are the ones to blame as they have shot down murali and samaraweera.

Posted by Saadcricketlover on (March 22, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

@ desi hungama totally agreed.

Posted by Copernicus on (March 22, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

To be fair, Desihungama, the last time a test country toured Pakistan (and even then it was despite the prevailing security concerns, and after being given assurances of protection from the government) their team bus was shot at by terrorists and several people were injured. I want you guys to get Test matches as much as anyone, but I don't think it's unreasonable for the ICC to be cautious in this instance. Non-neutral umpires might be the best solution to the impasse though, if the BCB are willing to risk it.

Posted by Desihungama on (March 22, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

You remember when you were a kid in school and wanted to play with big boys and you'd go ask Can I play with you guys? And you would get a nod saying ask the guy standing next. You'd ask him oily to find out he wants you to ask the next guy. Pakistan has given so much to cricket and ICC cannot even make a sincere effort in at least arranging umpires for a match? This is systematic disposition. And exclusion from IPL was the first step. I only hope Pakistan does not forget this slap from world cricket and grows inwards. We fans certainly won't forget and will never cheer for cricket again.

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