August 18, 2003

Heavy security as Test cricket returns to Pakistan

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has implemented strict new security measures for the return of Test cricket after a 15-month absence. The match might be fairly low profile - Pakistan take on Test whipping-boys Bangladesh - but the PCB is leaving nothing to chance.

The first Test starts at Karachi on Wednesday, and even though only a small crowd is expected, the stadium will have a heavy military and police presence.

Rameez Raja, the PCB's chief executive, insisted that there was no cause for concern. "Security was never a problem in Pakistan," he said. "It was just a myth. People in Pakistan are waiting for cricket. I don't think their interest lessened due to Pakistan playing home series on neutral venues."

The PCB will be keen that the matches against Bangladesh go without any hitches, as a packed season will also see them host home series against South Africa and New Zealand.