Pakistan news October 21, 2012

PCB hopeful of international cricket's return

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Pakistan board is in negotiations with its Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe counterparts to try and bring international cricket back to the country soon, according Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman. Ashraf said the staging of two unofficial Twenty20 matches, between an International XI led by Sanath Jayasuriya and a Pakistan All Stars team, in Karachi was a boost and he expected to have "good news" early next year.

"I think these matches, despite being private, are a good step," Ashraf said. "The PCB supported and encouraged these matches and they generated a lot of enthusiasm from the fans, which is a good sign."

The unofficial games at the National Stadium were well attended by fans, who have not been able to watch international cricketers in action in Pakistan since the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. The PCB disassociated itself from the games, however, providing only no-objection certificates to its contracted players to participate, while giving no assistance in terms of security and logistics. All arrangements were made by the Sindh sports minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah and the Karachi government.

Ashraf was Karachi on Sunday, as the Pakistan All Stars won the second match, and he hoped the games would be a start of more visits by foreign teams. "When you talk of international cricket, we are in negotiations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe cricket boards and we will give you a good news as early as next year," he said. "We are talking to two other boards as well but I am not going to reveal names. We have given them security plans and I am sure the day is not far when we have big time cricket in Karachi, Lahore and other cities."

Pakistan's next international series is a tour to India in December and to facilitate those limited-overs matches they have postponed a scheduled tour of Zimbabwe. Pakistan were due to play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in Zimbabwe this December but will visit sometime in 2013 instead. It will be Pakistan's first bilateral series against India since the attacks on Mumbai in November 2008.

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  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @haq33. You are spot on. PCB ensured that in case anything goes wrong, they can blame the Karachi city, and if everything goes right they can take the credit. The fact is, Karachi city has organized Karachi Champions League where international players participated and tens of thousands watched. Granted the players of Pakistani origin, but the city did the tournament in the most dangerous part of the city i.e. Korangi, and yet there was no security problem

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    hahah When you provide security of 5000 policemen for an exhibition match ,and still say that Pakistan is fit for international cricket ,seems funny !

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Well everyone is analyzing security situation in Pakistan on this forum. Pakistan is huge country and there are few pockets which are relatively risky but rest of the country is safe and in the end it is the job of security firms/teams to access the situation. lets hope for the good.

  • M on October 22, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Sorry but does nobody else smell the usual PCB odour of - "I backed it retrospectively because it worked but was ready to wash my hands clean of responsibility in case it went wrong". I recall an article mentioning that PCB officials were immune from losing their jobs even after the Lahore attacks....seems that the accusations of PCB being a self-preserving board is a fair one. Why do we tolerate these 2-faced officials who cannot do a simple mature thing like assume responsibility for cricket events when we need them to but are only too ready to jump on the bandwagon of success?? is that how modern organisations should be run? Our board, managers, captains all behave in this immature way when it comes to responsibility and because there is no motivation (of losing your job) then there is no need to improve. They all know the right people and their terms are fixed from the day of appointment no matter how incompetent they might turn out.

  • TARIQ on October 22, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    I think this was a small step towards the right direction,Pakistan should ask SL as they are very close to Pak and don't forget Pak played a match in Srilanks before Worldcup when Aus refused to play there,Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and i think they shouldn't ignore this golden oppertunity either as Bangla and Zimbabwe needs to play cricket with big boys to improve, India should also consider playing in Pak as this will imporve biliteral ties and goodwill. For some, PAKISTAN will never be safe to play as we know Aus didn't tour there for over 15 years,well before any problem started after US invasion,,so its just how you look at things rather then actual situation on the ground. PCB must workout a road map with ICC to restore the Int cricket as ICC seemed to be hurdle rather then a facilitator,the security commity needs to provide bullets points of improvement factors PCB needs to acheive before its OK for ICC to allow its official to go there,at the moment it is just chasing a red light

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Tell you what ... what Pakistan should do is to develop 4 teams captained by Afridi, Younis Khan, Misbah and Hafeez and play a small t20 league style matches. They can invite players from Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh to be part of these 4 teams. These teams should also include players from U19 teams as well and stalwart players from yester years who can still play good competitive cricket.

    Give full media coverage to these and market these matches, if ppl can throng National Stadium and Qaddafi stadium for lesser teams they definitely will throng to stadiums for such matches.

    This should be regular once in a year thing .... and rest assured this will attract other international players, and importantly play these matches for a cause... e.g. flood relief, earth quake victims etc etc etc......

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    it will always be a risk!! but dey do deserve to hold a series...

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Pakistan is a safe country to play. i was in lahore a few days back and i met a lot of foreigners visiting historical city of Lahore and they were very comfortable with security situation in the country.. and moreover cricket matches will be played only in Big Cities so there is no problem here . . . .. I think ICC should itself come forward for international cricket in Pakistan. ICC should behave neutrally in this regard as injustice will ruin the cricket in Asia.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    Well if we can give security, A PROPER SECURITY to the Foreign political delegations, then providing security to the cricket teams is not a big issue for the government of Pakistan. Presidential security was due to be provided to the Srilankan team and it was not been provided, THAT WAS THE LAPSE or else, no matter in what kind of insecure situation we are, our main cities are still QUITE SAFE. Miss Hillary Clinton when visited Pakistan, she alongside her delegation visited local universities and met locals as well so ITS MORE AN IMAGE of Darkness or else, Pakistan can easily provide security to the international teams. LAHORE, KARACHI, Rawalpindi, MULTAN, Faisalabad, all these cities are SAFE from WAR ON TERROR, (normal terrorism activity can take place anywhere, and that can easily be controlled by providing due security) as the on going war is in the northern area. We warmly welcome all the countries specially the Asians as they are the people who can understand situations BEST !

  • Shakhawat on October 22, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    I suggest that Pakistan is very good and safe country to play cricket. Test playing nation should not be ignore pakistani venue anymore

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