Pakistan news March 4, 2012

BCB 'satisfied' with Pakistan security arrangements


The Bangladesh delegation sent to inspect security arrangements in Pakistan is "satisfied" with the infrastructure and BCB president Mustafa Kamal has said he is keen to send the Bangladesh team on a tour of Pakistan. Now, both boards are seeking consent from the ICC to go ahead with the tour that is proposed for April this year.

"After seeing all the security arrangements all of us agree and are satisfied that the security infrastructure is in place," Kamal said at a press conference in Lahore. "Now it is my responsibility to convince my government to allow the tour and also request the ICC to approve the tour. Since the ICC governs and regulates the game we have to take this issue to them and must bring it to their notice that we want to send a team."

A nine-member delegation, headed by Kamal, had been sent on a two-day visit to Pakistan to observe a demonstration of the security plan for the proposed series. Kamal had said he was positive about the tour after a meeting in which the security plan was explained on Saturday. On Sunday, there was a full demonstration in Lahore, which involved more than 500 policemen being deployed between the Pearl Continental hotel, where the players will stay, to the Gaddafi Stadium. The Bangladeshi delegates, along with members of the PCB, including chairman Zaka Ashraf, were transported from the Pearl Continental hotel to the ground by a bus that was surrounded by two police jeeps, a police truck and several motorbikes.

There were two helicopters patrolling the sky at the stadium, and a mock evacuation via helicopter was also carried out to demonstrate how players or spectators could be rescued in case of an incident. The officials observed the same security protocol that would be in place should an international match be hosted by the stadium.

"We are here for three objectives," Kamal said, "One is to see the infrastructure, second to get information about the security plan and third to see the capability to execute the plan, and definitely all of us agree that all the segments were in place."

There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists on March 3, 2009, following which Pakistan were also stripped of the matches they were to host during the 2011 World Cup. Kamal said the ICC might have a different outlook this time since they were being directly approached by another member board.

"We will be approaching the ICC and telling them that we are keen to come to Pakistan. Here lies the difference: earlier nobody approached them, this time we will be approaching them in a positive way. We must get them engaged; we must get their consent. It is the beginning of the process [to return international cricket to Pakistan], which was stalled for the past couple of years."

The ICC has not sent any representatives to Pakistan for a security assessment of the proposed tour yet but will do so before it agrees to send its match officials for any games in Pakistan.

Zaka Ashraf said he was optimistic that the ICC would give their consent since both countries' boards had agreed to the tour. "I have personally met with the ICC chief; they want to see international cricket return to Pakistan, and were supportive, but the only concern was security," Ashraf said. "Now that we have the Bangladesh security team here and they are satisfied, the ICC's role is important."

There are two itineraries proposed for the tour, one of which includes a three-match ODI series, and the other a series of two ODIs and one Twenty20 international, to be completed in one week in April. Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium and Karachi's National Stadium are the venues expected to host the matches.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Pakistan is not safe for any team. ICC should suspend Cricket in Pakistan for next 10 years. Poor Sri Lankans got fooled last time when India refused to tour them. Its Bangaldesh's team!

  • Shahid on March 6, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    Dont blame Aussies and Britishers. It had been our own security authorities responsible for the attack on Sri Lankan Team and than the arrogance not to properly handle the situation.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Thats good gesture by Kamal tour must go ahead now !

  • Nauman on March 6, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    The bangladeshi delegates may be satisfied as was the Srilankan president just before march 2009. But will the Bangladesh government endorse this. It is hard to say. Besides it is not a good time to visit this country. One more attack and Pakistan might be a no go area.

  • Muhammad on March 5, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    correction: adversary => adversity (damn you Mac auto-correct).

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    @Adithya Raghunathan inshallah!

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    INSHALLAH cricket will return to pakistan.INSHALLAH AUSTRALIA will tour Pakistan

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    when aussies can sign contract for coaching and a britisher can sign for fielding coach then how come others cant come to pakistan , purely for the sake of cricket

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Great efforts by the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf if Bangladesh cricket team will come Pakistan then it would be a great acheivement for Zaka Ashraf and for Pakistan cricket.......And INSHA-ALLAH it will happen soon :)

  • syed on March 5, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    This is all political move. Kamal had an agreement with PCB to vote for his presidency and in return; Cricket will return to Pakistan by Bangla visiting. PCB and BCB, please make wise decision for the sake of cricket and people of Pakistan; Not to satisfy your personal agendas. I believe Pakistan is not ready for International Cricket yet. And even though this series goes well, still environment is not secure enough for other teams.

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