The Lahore attack July 26, 2010

PCB yet to submit incident report on Lahore attack - ICC

Cricinfo staff

The PCB has yet to submit to the ICC an incident report on the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore last year, after which there has been no international cricket in the country.

The attacks took place in March 2009 as the tourists were on their way to Gaddafi Stadium and eight people were killed. Seven Sri Lankan players and the coach were also injured. Since then there has been no international cricket in Pakistan and the national side has been forced to rejig its home commitments to various neutral venues. They have just played a 'home' Test series against Australia in England; they played a 'home' Test series against New Zealand in New Zealand last year and are due to take on South Africa in the UAE later this year.

The ICC had requested an incident report from the PCB in the days after the attack and has repeated the request several times since but has not yet received any information. "We asked the PCB to send the security report into the Lahore incident," Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the ICC, told Reuters recently. "We have asked them and we haven't received it." That was denied, in the same report, by Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, who said that claims that the report had not been sent were "absolutely incorrect".

Butt told a local channel that the report was complete and was awaiting approval. "The inquiry report into the incident was prepared by a Lahore High Court panel and the copies of the report have already been given to both PCB and the government," Butt told News One TV.`"It's a sensitive issue and we can't bypass the government. We will surely send the copy of the report to the ICC as soon as the government permits us to do so."

Because of the nature of the attack, Pakistan's interior ministry, the provincial government (of Punjab, where the attacks took place) and other security agencies have been involved in the compiling of the report and given the slow pace of such investigations here, it may take some time before approval is granted. One official familiar with the investigations said only that the report was being worked on and would be completed soon. The ICC confirmed to Cricinfo that no report has been received yet.

Any such report will clearly play a role in determining the return of international cricket to Pakistan. "By not submitting the report, the PCB has not been able to form a strategy with the ICC and until the member boards analyse that report they will continue to hesitate when it comes to touring Pakistan," Ehsan Mani, former ICC president, told AFP.

Lorgat and the ICC are keen to look at ways of bringing touring sides back to Pakistan though they acknowledge that a real push will probably be made after the 2011 World Cup. Lorgat recently suggested that it might be possible to send a "hand-picked" side to Pakistan soon, though he steered clear of putting a timeline to it.