Terror in Pakistan March 9, 2009

Butt expects tours to Pakistan in 'six to nine months'

Cricinfo staff
17


Ijaz Butt wants the government to assure visiting teams' security © AFP
 

A week after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has said that he expects teams to tour Pakistan in "six to nine months". He was also confident that Pakistan would remain a co-host of the 2011 World Cup.

"I'd expect tours to start again as soon as possible. I'd give it six to nine months," Butt told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I definitely think that we will stage part of the World Cup in 2011."

Butt, however, said that he would expect the Pakistan government to guarantee visiting teams' security. "I would want us to get security to a level that would be a guarantee from my government that no such incident like this could happen again, or I will not invite anybody," he said.

"Once I have this assurance I may then invite people to come here. But this can happen anywhere. I cannot give that guarantee, but my government can. If they cannot then we will not have cricket in Pakistan at all."

ICC president David Morgan had said earlier that "it would seem the level of security was not as expected" at the time of the terrorist attack. The security measures were also criticised by the match referee Chris Broad and umpire Simon Taufel who were among those attacked.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dp12 on March 10, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    I think Pakistan government cannot arrange for any security, just look at the example when Benazir Butto was killed in Pakistan. If Top Officials are not safe, then what is the guarantee that Cricket teams visiting Pakistan will be safe!

  • imjayesh on March 10, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Just one question Mr Butt. What happened to the 03/03 attackers? Maybe you will catch them after the next attack when some country comes to play there.

  • Pinky-Rosey on March 9, 2009, 23:58 GMT

    "Pakistan cricket has faced many hurdles over the past two decades, but none bigger than it faces now"; no madder what cricket should not be left to wither and die in Pakistan. Any cricket lover would know what Pakistan has given to cricket, by international teams not going to Pakistan; they will be harming cricket more then Pakistan. Any ways how many nations are there who take their cricket seriously; about even or eight and by eliminating Pakistan what is cricket left with. Pakistani cricket "forces you to the edge of your seat, nails bitten to the quick, never quite sure what crazy thing is going to happen next."

  • Sunil.reddy.me on March 9, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    Wow Simply wow . PCB expects teams to put their lives in the line of fire for cricket tours now ? Looks like PCB is in Denial mode as well. Well good luck in finding teams other than Bangladesh/ Afghanistan to tour Pakistan.

  • MxxZ on March 9, 2009, 16:43 GMT

    Yes, it can work! Pakistan will need to elevate their thinking and operations on what "security" means. Get the players to the stadium on a big military chopper that takes off from the hotel roof-top and lands inside the ground. Same with the airport to hotel to airport at each match venue. Get all stadium entrances all tightly sealed and allow people inside the stadium through the metal detectors only. No more player excursion trips in Pakistan -- visit to play cricket only and then go home. No cricket in North-Western city of Peshawar.

  • Sunny-Bhai on March 9, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    Boy oh boy, if at all ICC does decide to give Pakistan a go for 2011 world cup I guess we will have the same situation like we had in the last to last world cup where teams like New Zealand & England refused to travel to Zimbabwe & because of points deduction teams like Kenya made to the semi final & the road to finals was made easy. Interesting would be to see if Indian govt would permit Team India to travel to Pakistan if any game is due to be played there or teams like Australia, South Africa or any of the top guns refuse to play, so what will we end up having? All Mr.Izaj Butt is doing is trying to brush the dust under the carpet by saying 6 to 9 months, don't see anybody interested at all to play even after that. But if ICC does decide to keep Pakistan running the WOrld Cup 2011 then they are in a lot of critisism from the world where players are nothing more then sacrificing sheeps.

  • Shayan.Jamshed on March 9, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    I think 6 to 8 months is just the recovery time in which Pakistan can prove to the world that the attack is merely due to political instability and wrong policies of the government in different areas across the country. If the situation improves, the frequency of unfortunate events reduces significantly and stability is restored in the region there is a fair chance that Pakistan would go on to host the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Although the cricket events will continue elsewhere but the lack of cricket in the country may result in decreased enthusiasm and frustration in the 170 million cricket crazy population of Pakistan. I, being a sincere cricket fan, hope that Pakistan emerges out of the situation as the winner, and the 1992 World Champions do not get deprived from international cricket at home for too long.

  • omarmalik on March 9, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    The security could deniftely have been better. I have seen better security in Pakistan when the president's own convoy travels. But I don't think any nation in the world can guarantee security these days, with the kind of terrorist attacks we have been having all over the world, its foolish to expect a guarnatee on security.

    I feel very sad because this will damage Pakistan cricket a lot. Realistically, there may not be any home cricket in Pakistan for a couple of years.

  • Ahmer on March 9, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    Perhaps he was saying about six to nine years..typo eroor :)

  • SledgeHammer on March 9, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    In other news: Ejaz Butt predicts the Dow Jones Industrial Average to hit 20,000 by the end of 2009.

  • dp12 on March 10, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    I think Pakistan government cannot arrange for any security, just look at the example when Benazir Butto was killed in Pakistan. If Top Officials are not safe, then what is the guarantee that Cricket teams visiting Pakistan will be safe!

  • imjayesh on March 10, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Just one question Mr Butt. What happened to the 03/03 attackers? Maybe you will catch them after the next attack when some country comes to play there.

  • Pinky-Rosey on March 9, 2009, 23:58 GMT

    "Pakistan cricket has faced many hurdles over the past two decades, but none bigger than it faces now"; no madder what cricket should not be left to wither and die in Pakistan. Any cricket lover would know what Pakistan has given to cricket, by international teams not going to Pakistan; they will be harming cricket more then Pakistan. Any ways how many nations are there who take their cricket seriously; about even or eight and by eliminating Pakistan what is cricket left with. Pakistani cricket "forces you to the edge of your seat, nails bitten to the quick, never quite sure what crazy thing is going to happen next."

  • Sunil.reddy.me on March 9, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    Wow Simply wow . PCB expects teams to put their lives in the line of fire for cricket tours now ? Looks like PCB is in Denial mode as well. Well good luck in finding teams other than Bangladesh/ Afghanistan to tour Pakistan.

  • MxxZ on March 9, 2009, 16:43 GMT

    Yes, it can work! Pakistan will need to elevate their thinking and operations on what "security" means. Get the players to the stadium on a big military chopper that takes off from the hotel roof-top and lands inside the ground. Same with the airport to hotel to airport at each match venue. Get all stadium entrances all tightly sealed and allow people inside the stadium through the metal detectors only. No more player excursion trips in Pakistan -- visit to play cricket only and then go home. No cricket in North-Western city of Peshawar.

  • Sunny-Bhai on March 9, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    Boy oh boy, if at all ICC does decide to give Pakistan a go for 2011 world cup I guess we will have the same situation like we had in the last to last world cup where teams like New Zealand & England refused to travel to Zimbabwe & because of points deduction teams like Kenya made to the semi final & the road to finals was made easy. Interesting would be to see if Indian govt would permit Team India to travel to Pakistan if any game is due to be played there or teams like Australia, South Africa or any of the top guns refuse to play, so what will we end up having? All Mr.Izaj Butt is doing is trying to brush the dust under the carpet by saying 6 to 9 months, don't see anybody interested at all to play even after that. But if ICC does decide to keep Pakistan running the WOrld Cup 2011 then they are in a lot of critisism from the world where players are nothing more then sacrificing sheeps.

  • Shayan.Jamshed on March 9, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    I think 6 to 8 months is just the recovery time in which Pakistan can prove to the world that the attack is merely due to political instability and wrong policies of the government in different areas across the country. If the situation improves, the frequency of unfortunate events reduces significantly and stability is restored in the region there is a fair chance that Pakistan would go on to host the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Although the cricket events will continue elsewhere but the lack of cricket in the country may result in decreased enthusiasm and frustration in the 170 million cricket crazy population of Pakistan. I, being a sincere cricket fan, hope that Pakistan emerges out of the situation as the winner, and the 1992 World Champions do not get deprived from international cricket at home for too long.

  • omarmalik on March 9, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    The security could deniftely have been better. I have seen better security in Pakistan when the president's own convoy travels. But I don't think any nation in the world can guarantee security these days, with the kind of terrorist attacks we have been having all over the world, its foolish to expect a guarnatee on security.

    I feel very sad because this will damage Pakistan cricket a lot. Realistically, there may not be any home cricket in Pakistan for a couple of years.

  • Ahmer on March 9, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    Perhaps he was saying about six to nine years..typo eroor :)

  • SledgeHammer on March 9, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    In other news: Ejaz Butt predicts the Dow Jones Industrial Average to hit 20,000 by the end of 2009.

  • danmcb on March 9, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    this guy needs to get a grip on reality.

  • Harvey on March 9, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    What Pakistan cricket needed in the wake of this terrible incident was careful, professional, and sensitive handling of the media fall-out. What it got from Ijaz Butt was exactly the opposite. As a result of his rantings, the PCB's international credibility now stands at approximately zero. The idea that Pakistan is going to be hosting tours within the time-scale he's talking about is frankly ridiculous. His tirade against Chris Broad's (and by implication Simon Taufel's) account of what happened in Lahore was - given the circumstances - downright offensive. I feel sorry for the long-suffering cricket fans of Pakistan, because with people like Ijaz Butt in charge, Pakistan cricket could end up in a state of total isolation at the very time when it needs sympathy, solidarity and friendship from the rest of the cricketing world.

  • MASpak on March 9, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    I bet this is not a battle ground.. but this should be kept in mind that sports has been targeted before in countries like Spain, where bomb blast occurred outside the football stadiums and killed many people. But teams still visited there. If sports is withdrawn because of terrorist attacks, than I must say, terrorist have won the battle. To fight terrorism, governments and people cant fight alone, there should be foreign help, and that is through sports. Especially cricket in Pakistan.

  • timedout on March 9, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    All Butt has done since this happened is to indulge his reflex to strike out against any perceived attack on his or Pakistan's "honour". No such attack has been made by anyone - Butt's lashing out at Chris Broad for failing to appreciate the legendary Pakistani hospitality was particularly excruciating. But the longer the PCB hides in an imaginary world where nothing is wrong, and refuses to face up to realities that cause it embarrassment, the longer Pakistan will be in the wilderness. One has to say with regret, deservedly so.

  • 200ondebut on March 9, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    "Wake up and smell the coffee" is the phrase that comes to my mind. Although I completely respect the efforts of Butt and former players to ensure the Pakistan do not become isolated as a cricket playing nation - they need an injection of realisim.

  • Vkarthik on March 9, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    PCB hasn't fully realized the gravity of the situation i suppose. As much as the government is to blame PCB should share the responsibility. Not one apology has come from them for those who were hurt. We are talking about 10 years minimum before anyone tours there. Hope they come out of their dream soon.

  • Kandyman on March 9, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    What? This is absolutely ridiculous! The SL team WAS guaranteed "presidential level" security, so what good is a guarantee from the Pakistani government? It's just gone back to the old system of "we guarantee" this and that. It's absolutely pathetic. Pakistan needs to sort out their internal problems before asking ANY foreigners to come there for their own good. The people and the government espcially need to stand up and fight these nutty terrorists, then only can sporting teams be invited back to Pakistan!

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  • Kandyman on March 9, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    What? This is absolutely ridiculous! The SL team WAS guaranteed "presidential level" security, so what good is a guarantee from the Pakistani government? It's just gone back to the old system of "we guarantee" this and that. It's absolutely pathetic. Pakistan needs to sort out their internal problems before asking ANY foreigners to come there for their own good. The people and the government espcially need to stand up and fight these nutty terrorists, then only can sporting teams be invited back to Pakistan!

  • Vkarthik on March 9, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    PCB hasn't fully realized the gravity of the situation i suppose. As much as the government is to blame PCB should share the responsibility. Not one apology has come from them for those who were hurt. We are talking about 10 years minimum before anyone tours there. Hope they come out of their dream soon.

  • 200ondebut on March 9, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    "Wake up and smell the coffee" is the phrase that comes to my mind. Although I completely respect the efforts of Butt and former players to ensure the Pakistan do not become isolated as a cricket playing nation - they need an injection of realisim.

  • timedout on March 9, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    All Butt has done since this happened is to indulge his reflex to strike out against any perceived attack on his or Pakistan's "honour". No such attack has been made by anyone - Butt's lashing out at Chris Broad for failing to appreciate the legendary Pakistani hospitality was particularly excruciating. But the longer the PCB hides in an imaginary world where nothing is wrong, and refuses to face up to realities that cause it embarrassment, the longer Pakistan will be in the wilderness. One has to say with regret, deservedly so.

  • MASpak on March 9, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    I bet this is not a battle ground.. but this should be kept in mind that sports has been targeted before in countries like Spain, where bomb blast occurred outside the football stadiums and killed many people. But teams still visited there. If sports is withdrawn because of terrorist attacks, than I must say, terrorist have won the battle. To fight terrorism, governments and people cant fight alone, there should be foreign help, and that is through sports. Especially cricket in Pakistan.

  • Harvey on March 9, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    What Pakistan cricket needed in the wake of this terrible incident was careful, professional, and sensitive handling of the media fall-out. What it got from Ijaz Butt was exactly the opposite. As a result of his rantings, the PCB's international credibility now stands at approximately zero. The idea that Pakistan is going to be hosting tours within the time-scale he's talking about is frankly ridiculous. His tirade against Chris Broad's (and by implication Simon Taufel's) account of what happened in Lahore was - given the circumstances - downright offensive. I feel sorry for the long-suffering cricket fans of Pakistan, because with people like Ijaz Butt in charge, Pakistan cricket could end up in a state of total isolation at the very time when it needs sympathy, solidarity and friendship from the rest of the cricketing world.

  • danmcb on March 9, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    this guy needs to get a grip on reality.

  • SledgeHammer on March 9, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    In other news: Ejaz Butt predicts the Dow Jones Industrial Average to hit 20,000 by the end of 2009.

  • Ahmer on March 9, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    Perhaps he was saying about six to nine years..typo eroor :)

  • omarmalik on March 9, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    The security could deniftely have been better. I have seen better security in Pakistan when the president's own convoy travels. But I don't think any nation in the world can guarantee security these days, with the kind of terrorist attacks we have been having all over the world, its foolish to expect a guarnatee on security.

    I feel very sad because this will damage Pakistan cricket a lot. Realistically, there may not be any home cricket in Pakistan for a couple of years.