FICA warns against touring Pakistan
The Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) has warned against international teams touring Pakistan, stating its security experts had said the "risk is unmanageable."
FICA's statement came a day before Alistair Campbell, the Zimbabwe Cricket managing director, and security experts arrived in Pakistan to assess the security situation ahead of Zimbabwe's limited-overs tour of the country later this month. They are due to play three ODIs and two T20 internationals in Lahore from May 19 to 31, a tour that was announced last week. In return, Pakistan will tour Zimbabwe in August.
"We are very concerned about the safety of players and any match officials who may be sent to Pakistan, should this tour go ahead," Tony Irish, the FICA executive chairman, said. "The risk assessment that we have received from FICA's security consultants is that an international tour to Pakistan remains an unacceptable risk and teams are advised against travelling there at present. Although we are sure that the Pakistan Cricket Board will do what they can regarding a security plan, our experts advise that the risk is unmanageable."
On March 3, 2009, gunmen had ambushed the vehicles transporting the Sri Lankan players and match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the third day of the Test. Several players suffered injuries, while security personnel and civilians were killed, and as a result the match was abandoned and the tour called off. Ever since, Pakistan have had to play their home matches at offshore venues, primarily the UAE, as the ICC and other Full Members considered the country too much of a security risk.