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Richardson rules out international cricket in Pakistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 14, 2011

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The <I>Herald Sun</I> reflects on the Lahore terrorist attack, March 4, 2009
The Lahore attacks have ruined the prospects of international cricket in Pakistan in the near future © Herald Sun
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Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager for cricket, has firmly ruled out the possibility of international cricket returning to Pakistan in the near future. Pakistan has not hosted an international series since the Lahore attacks on Sri Lanka's cricketers in March 2009, and as long there isn't an improvement in the security situation there was no point talking of bringing international cricket back to the country, Richardson said. Instead, he claimed the way forward was to promote the domestic setup in Pakistan.

"It's useless to talk about bringing back international cricket to Pakistan," Richardson told reporters in Karachi. "I think once there is an improvement in the security conditions and arrangements then teams can be convinced to start looking at playing in Pakistan again."

Pakistan was stripped of its rights to co-host the 2011 World Cup with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the aftermath of the Lahore attacks. Amid the decline in cricket in the country, the domestic competitions deserved more attention, said Richardson. "It might take a lot of time but it doesn't mean that the game cannot progress here. The PCB should concentrate on promoting the domestic structure. According to me, that's the only way to keep the game going."

Richardson is in Karachi to watch the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier first-class tournament, which is being played under lights at the National Stadium. It's an unprecedented event in Pakistan domestic cricket and one of the ways the PCB is trying to promote domestic cricket in these difficult times.

"The ICC is working on several recommendations to make Test cricket more interesting and the day-night option sounds very interesting. I am here to see whether it's feasible to conduct Test matches under lights using orange balls.

"The PCB has taken a good decision to hold the final of the five-day domestic tournament under lights and it will help popularise the sport as well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Peace_ on (January 15, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

This comment of Dave Richardson was not needed.

Posted by Saadi69 on (January 15, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

To answer mohammad khan ethnic fights have been going on for ages even when the 96 world cup was held the law and order sittuation has nothing to do with providing security for players. It was the govt responsibility to provide security to players. the security was inadequate. The attack on the players had nothing to do with anything going on in the country except to hurt the country.

Posted by afy147 on (January 15, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

How About playing in Mirpur in Pakistani Kashmir because there are no such security problems there as there are in the rest of pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2011, 14:22 GMT)

@ Mangesh.... I guess you have gone a bit to far in making judgement and setting hopes for Pakistan holding the matches and blaming it on the politics, which clearly show your lack of knowledge about the sport and Pakistan's internal affairs. In a broader aspect attacks on Sri Lankan team was security lapse but it was a shame for ICC of having no plans for game and visiting teams in passive war stuck country. In up coming world cup two major venue countries have a history of terrorist attacks (Specially Mumbai attacks where the city was high jacked by terrorist for hours) and sectarian violence ( in Sri Lanka). Is there any plans or agenda ICC have for security and compliance ?? this is a similar case when ICC lacks game plan to stop the corruption and match fixing in cricket till NOW came into the picture....Lets not forget that this is not only a problem with security in Pakistan its also highlight the weakness of ICC in properly handling the matters....

Posted by mihir_nam on (January 15, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

Pakistan agree security is concern ..but where world cup final is attack was happened hardly 1mile ahead of it.SuBcontinent itself is not safe..9/11 happened just once , London Madrid bombings happen just once...but in SubContinent u don't know then there is next bombing.. Pakistan should play in Associate nation to lift their cricket ..USA is good ground and UAE too.... But if Pak wants to play India in home series then no other place better than Lords,Birmingham,Manchester.....in early June

Posted by   on (January 15, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

I totally agreed with Kashif Shah statement.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

I think, Pakistan should play its international matches in the UAE and possibly China,till late 2014 at least. We cannot have international cricket as long as there is an ongoing war in Afghanistan. Plus Pakistan has massive problems such as law and order like the continuous target killings of different ethnic groups in Karachi , so it is not in the position to facilitate international sides and ensure their safety.

Posted by justroundthecorner on (January 15, 2011, 9:10 GMT)

Ok so does this imply that an objective security criteria exists to evaluate Pakistan's or for that matter any other country's security situation? If it does then can the ICC kindly share it with the rest of the world? Transparency is the key over here.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2011, 7:43 GMT)

I HOPE PAKISTAN NEVER GETS TO HOST ANY EVENTS! THE COUNTRY's POLITICS MUST OWN UP FOR THIS! AND ONLY ON IMPROVEMENT IN THE COUNTRY SHOULD IT BE ALLOWED TO HOLD MATCHES

Posted by   on (January 15, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

How is Richardson qualified to make comments about Pakistan's security situation? But then again he is right. Living in Karachi has taught me that things change in minutes in terms of security. As for the flood lit finals of the domestic tournament, it doesn't make sense for Pakistan to host it, where there is already an enormous energy crisis. Instead a publicity plan should have been made to promote it and even a more safer venue, where at least people would have come to watch!

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