Pakistan news October 24, 2012

PCB to buy bulletproof buses

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The PCB governing board has sanctioned the purchase of bulletproof buses to ensure best security protocol for visiting teams, and thus address some of the security concerns that have prevented international teams from touring Pakistan over the last three and a half years.

Pakistan has been a no-go zone for major international teams after the attack on Sri Lankan team - their bus was shot at by gunmen near Gaddafi Stadium in March 2009, and the attack injured five cricketers and killed six security men and two civilians. Since then, Pakistan have been playing their 'home' series abroad, and the PCB has been trying to bring international cricket back to the country. Now, the PCB hopes it can be revived as early as next year, following the successful staging of two exhibition Twenty20s involving an International World XI in Karachi last week.

The PCB relies heavily on the government with regards to providing the visiting teams' security. The bullet proof buses will be an additional safety measure for visiting teams, ensuring box security while travelling. The buses were sanctioned at the PCB governing board meeting on Thursday in Abbottabad, the garrison town north of Islamabad.

"To ensure best security protocols for international teams, the Board of Governors unanimously approved the purchase of bullet proof buses," the PCB said in a statement. "The members noted that the step would enable the PCB to achieve higher security measures for the teams visiting Pakistan in future."

Apart from working on security protocol, the PCB has been working on identifying potential new venues for international cricket across the country and upgrading them to international standards. The board had visited the Abbottabad cricket stadium and, at the meeting, approved a Rs 12.5 million budget for its upgrading and development.

Earlier this year the PCB had identified a 35-acre piece of land in Islamabad, where a stadium that is meant to be the biggest in the country, with a capacity of capacity of 50,000, will be developed. "The board unanimously decided to name the stadium after Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto," the PCB statement said.

The stadium will be in the Shakarparian area of Islamabad, with multiple facilities that include a cricket ground, a cricket academy and lodging facility. According to the Memorandum of Understanding between the PCB and Capital Development Authority (CDA), the PCB will receive 70% of the revenue generated by the stadium, while the CDA will take 30%.

Also at the meeting, the governing board reviewed the progress made in bringing together Pakistan's proposed Twenty20 league. "The board was updated on the progress thus far and a roadmap was shared with them," the statement said. "The board appreciated it as a positive initiative for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan." The league is planned for March 2013, immediately after Pakistan's South Africa tour, which ends on March 24.

The board also sanctioned the use of Kookaburra balls in domestic cricket, terming it a 'positive step' for the improvement of the domestic game. The PCB is yet to introduce the balls in the ongoing President's Trophy; the fifth round of the tournament, starting from November 2, will be played with the imported balls.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CorneredTiger92-09 on October 27, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    Anything to bring International superstars to play in our country. Our fans have been deprived of cricket horribly thanks to mindless animals

  • Fawad.Dar on October 26, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Well the situation in Pakistan is far better now and it's a peace full country. People love cricket there. Bullet prove buses is just a precaution and it's a good move to bring international cricket back to PAKISTAN.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    the situation of pakistan is not like that as shown in the media. please stop critesizing pakistan. pakistan is a peace ful country.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    @bluefunk, Dude..!! IN SHAA ALLAH, This time it will not happened again because if you see the security provided by World XI which is enough to give Players Security and it is a Biggest Security provided by PCB which around 3000 Police man and all their place are covered by Rangers(Special Forces) and also there are choppers which are flying all day to Verify all Activity so this is i think enough for Security, however, A bullet proof buses option is a plus for security which means they don`t wanna leave any tiny thing for security and this is the Highest Security Provided by any Country.

  • RaJJputtana on October 25, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    hey ! International cricket caretakers should know that by giving them to much security along with the bullet proof buses should be a great attempt, as we they should also consider that PCB is trying to remove the bad stains on their positions although it was not their fault. Its true bad things happen,s in every country.

  • bluefunk on October 25, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    It's a positive step, but what if the terrorists launch a RPG? I believe there was one launched at the Sri Lankans, which thankfully missed. Who knows what would've happened otherwise. What next, mine protected vehicles to keep players safe from IEDs? More than these reactionary steps, the hotel near the stadium seems like a better idea. Hope int'l cricket returns to Pakistan soon.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Islamabad and especially Shakarparian is one of the last areas untouched by cheap construction and adhoc planning. I really, really hope the PCB had the foresight to make sure they have the necessary budget and architect/planner to make a stadium we can be proud of. Hearing "MEGA STADIUM" makes me afraid this will be a giant concrete bowl with no personality, like almost every "new" stadium in the subcontinent.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    I Agree with Masood Ali PCB should bulid 5 star Facilties walking distance to stadium it will be more safe . and financial sound good too.

  • WickyRoy.paklover on October 25, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @Arsenal,wel he z the chairman of pcb not the prime miniter of pak,he z doing a fine job with the authority he have got.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Thanks alot Sinhaya and all concerned around the world for supporting us in this difficult time. Specially grateful to Srilankans and their cricket time as well as their government for their support.

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