Pakistan news July 17, 2010

ICC might send a hand-picked side to Pakistan

Cricinfo staff
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ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has said the organisation might send a hand-picked side to Pakistan late next year to give fans an opportunity to watch international cricket as he is worried the lack of top-level cricket will affect the popularity of the game in the country.

"It will always be dependent on the expert advice of the security experts, but we think that perhaps towards the end of next year we must start looking at what the horizon looks like and if it is at all possible [to send a team to Pakistan]," he told BBC Radio Five Live Extra.

Lorgat said the ICC could not let the status quo continue indefinitely and that he would accompany any team that did go to Pakistan.

"We will assess the situation very, very carefully. We know that we can't leave things as they are if it is at all possible to play in Pakistan," he said. "I'm not just suggesting a bi-lateral series; it may be an ICC XI. Whether it's a youth team, an older team, or whatever... I would go with that team as well.

"We need to look at it. We shouldn't just sit back and do nothing. But we certainly would not do something that is not properly calculated."

In another attempt to bolster cricket in Pakistan, the ICC has appointed Mike Brearley and Greg Chappell as ambassadors to support the PCB. The two former Test captains have been tasked with getting the global cricket community to support the PCB and its players at a time when Pakistan is unable to host matches at home.

Teams have refused to play in Pakistan since March 2009, when seven Sri Lanka players were injured after gunmen attacked the team bus on its way to Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.