Pakistan news January 23, 2013

FICA warning could hurt Pakistan league - Lorgat


Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC chief executive who is an advisor to the Pakistan Super League (PSL), has said FICA's warning to players not to travel to Pakistan because of security concerns could adversely impact the tournament. Lorgat, however, said the reality of the ground situation in Lahore was different from common perceptions.

"It's unfortunate, there are many players who will be undecided and when a statement is negative, it doesn't help," Lorgat said of FICA's comments. "It doesn't help the confidence of some players. Fortunately there are many who have already committed and who are confident … they trust the assurance given by the PCB.

"I think the statement is not against the PSL, it's about the safety situation in Pakistan. While we understand that sort of a statement from the players association, I don't think we necessarily agree with it. Here I'm sitting again, in Lahore, and I understand the situation on the ground in Lahore. There's been a very good response across the globe by broadcasters who are keen and interested, and who are currently studying the detailed document. We are confident the league will happen on March 26. There's a lot of interest from players as well. We know what the challenges are, it's reality, but we will overcome those challenges."

Tim May, the FICA chief, had said most cricketers would heed the advice not to travel to Pakistan. "The security consultants came back and said that the risk of touring Pakistan in a cricketing sense is unmanageable," he said. "I haven't spoken directly to any players but the feedback we are getting from player associations throughout the world is that players are very appreciative and understanding of the advice. We can't force the players not to go but I think you'll find the majority, if not all, of current international cricketers will heed that advice and, unfortunately for Pakistan, not participate in this event this year."

The PCB said it did not recognise FICA and would not enter into discussions with them, dealing directly with the member boards instead. However, the Pakistan board did not reveal which foreign players had expressed interest in the PSL and said they would make an announcement once the pool was ready.

"Our stated position on FICA is very clear, we don't recognise them, so when we don't endorse them it makes no sense to go into discussions with them at any level," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said. "As far as we are concerned we have no direct relationship with FICA.

"ICC's defined process is very clear, whether a player is approached directly or through the board, we have approached various boards but obviously without NOC we will not allow players to come. We have written to various boards and we are confident that players will come to the league."

The PCB has not announced a venue for the PSL but ESPNcricinfo has learned the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore is one of the leading options and that the board is already in talks with the Punjab government regarding security. The PCB has also engaged an independent security agency to assist in the arrangements.

Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Since then they have had to play their 'home' matches at offshore venues such as England and the UAE.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    PSL is not a properly structured league, 5 teams and still you have a semi-final is beyond my belief. We'll see if this so called 'super' league goes well safely.

  • Muhammad on January 24, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Forbig Dhonifan,mariakutty and others?????

    PSL do not need your sport. You had better first improve you cricket as is up to the level of "Minows" Your need teams like China, Malaysia,Maldives,Japan,Koria etc to produce another SR Tendulkar, Kohli etc.

  • Usman on January 24, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Either put on a combined league called SAPL- South Asian Premiere League. OR if the Asian countries have problems then they should carry on with the Pakistan Super League BUT it should be held in UAE untill there is enough assurity of security in Pakistan. They should start it in UAE and then after 2-3 seasons start in Pakistan with the assurity of security. Hopefully these ideas are somehow sent to the PCB!

  • Rauf on January 24, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @Mariakutty: You have a valid point. There is just too much of T20 cricket including IPL but this effort by PCB is purely for two reason I believes. 1) The most important one is to get the international cricket back to Pakistan. If PSL is successful for first two years, people will take notice specially if there are foriegn players in it. 2) To give Pakistan players some financial reward because the cash rich IPL does not allow them in. I don't think PSL solves any other purpose then that.

  • Rajeev on January 24, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    As n Indian, I wish PSL all success. However, I remember many top officials from Pakistan and across the globe blaming the IPL for killing cricket. The question is, why do you have to start another if it's so? Before spending millions for n' event in Pakistan where you have lots of restrictions and fear for security, it would be better to do some homework about this project. Even starting a small shop requires some foresight.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    PCB should launch it in UAE this year. 2013 is a year of change for Pakistan. Elections will hopefully be done by 2013-14 and once the security situation improves, they can bring the event back to Pakistan. I hardly think 2 million usd insurance is going to attract the regular players of the internation leagues.

  • SAIFUR RAHMAN DURJOY on January 24, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Its pretty clear now there will no international plyrs from Ind,Eng,Aus.Ban,Windies,SA,NewZ & probably srilanka too.......also dont think t20 experts like R Ten doeschate,Hodge,Shah,Thomas,botha etc. coming ......only Afghan talents will be playing...but still PSL will be gud wid Pak's own plyrs.......

  • zaf on January 24, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Pakistan team should be as 1-Nasir Jamshed, 2-Mohd Hafeez, 3-Taufeeq Umar, 4-Azhar Ali, 5-Younis Khan, 6-Misbha Naizi, 7-Sarfaraz Ahmed, 8--Umar Gul, 9-Saeed Ajmal, 10-Junaid Khan, 11-Mohd Irfan

  • Md Iftekhar on January 24, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    All the best to PSL. Surely PAK people deserve some cricket.

  • hayden on January 24, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    pcb must realise that refusing to deal with FICA is only hurting their own cause. yes its nice to talk to your counterparts in the other countries but unlike in pakistan boards like england and australias have their hands tied as the players association are officially recognised as the authority that will ultimatly decide what is safe to vist and whats not. keeping them in the dark is keeping players in the dark and pakistan need as little darkness as possible if they ever want a non asian country to ever grace its shores again. besides no other cricket board will want their players involved if it can be helped, to much cricket as it is.