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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Arsenal612 on October 25, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Its just an Idea.. and like 5% to the main solution.. What if ppl enter the bus?? would each seat be in a bullet proof cabin as well.. Come on Zaka Ashraf and PCB.. wake up from ur dream.. Help towards solving the security situation in the country first... then think abt calling countries to play... Think abt Humanity first..

    Weird ideas by the PCB...

    Bring back the Vision QUAID E AZAM had for us..

  • masoodali150 on October 25, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Bulletproof Buses may help them to travel from Hotel to Ground. I will suggest to PCB to construct atleast 5 Start or above standard Hotels near the ground with approximately walking distance. This will also help PCB to save money and facilities regarding security policy.

  • on October 25, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    its good step by pcb ....inshallah cricket teams will tour pakistan very soon....

  • WickyRoy.paklover on October 25, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Anothr step in the right direction,betr late than never.wel done Mr ZAKA.I REALY DN'T UNDR.STAND WHAT THIS ALL SCENARIO HAS TO DO WITH INDIAN FANS.MY MSG 4 THEM! Pak would remain a potent force in cricket whether crickt takes place in pak or not

  • alikhan224 on October 25, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    @disco_bob..dude u need complete security...in asian countries u will see a lot of security for international teams and commandos travelling with the buses, it doesnt mean that something is wrong but its for their safety...bad things happen in every country, so it doesnt mean that u dont take necessary measures...hp u understood.

  • on October 25, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Good Idea! International Cricket Rebuild in Pakistan very soon Insha Allah!

  • anver777 on October 25, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    PCB is trying really hard to bring the cricket back in Pak...... hope for good !!!!!

  • solankibhavesh on October 25, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    I think its very good decision made by PCB may be By this some cricket board will agree to send their team in pakistan and I wish international cricket comes back to pakistan. In pakistan there is huge cricket crowd and also pakistani cricket fan waiting for international cricket from last three year so may be we will find some good news in future

  • avmd on October 25, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    I'm a PAk team supporter and can't wait resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, but don't agree with PCB's strategy. International cricketing community want to play cricket in Pakistan but players safety always come first. I don'y think time is right fro resumption of inter nation cricket in Pakistan, as yet. Things are improving but we still have along way to go. Buying a bullet proof bus only increase players anxiety and will not be of any help. We got to be patient. American are leaving from the area in2014, new elections will be held in Pakistan next year and I hope things will start getting better in 2-3 years and I would not invite any international team prior to that. We got to be patients. PCB should invest in improving its domestic cricket structure meanwhile. Lesson to learn from South Africa's experience in 70s and 80s. The good things is that world cricket community including India is supporting Pakistan cricket.

  • on October 25, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    This is definitely a positive step, but I am not sure this will be enough to convince top teams to tour Pakistan... Normalcy should return to Pakistan as a country for International cricketers to tour Pakistan consistently...

  • on October 25, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    I still don't want my team to go to Pakistan..sorry

  • on October 25, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    I, like many others would certainly want international cricket to retunr to Pakistan. How wonderful to see those incredibly talented players in their own backyard! However the cricket administrators and players have condtions to be fulfilled. A good way to start is to play all matches in a series at one venue where security measures can be implemented to its fullest. Transport (even by the bullet proof bus) should be an absolute minimum. Then they have only the routes Airpot - Hotel - Ground and return to protect. Even so it will be extremely difficult to convince ALL coutnries to accept the risks. It must be said that Pakistna remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for foreigners. It is likely that other Asian countries, especially one in particular, will be willing to compromise and therefore will be the first to tour.

  • Dr_Van_Nostrand on October 25, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    Won't make a difference. No team in their right mind will visit Pakistan for as long as I can see.

  • OttawaRocks on October 25, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Bullet proof buses are a step in the right direction. Eventually, once security becomes rock-solid teams will tour Pakistan. The PCB should realize that they can spend the extra money on security and still make money so there is no need to cheap out on the security issue.

  • Saadcricketlover on October 24, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    I hope international cricket come back to pakistan. our cricket board has been trying so hard to keep visiting teams safe can't icc see.

  • disco_bob on October 24, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    Just the fact that they NEED bulletproof busses is a bit of a worry.

  • Djawid on October 24, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    Finally they came to know about this technology...

  • on October 24, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Pakistan we are always with you. You are our best friends -The sri Lankans

  • on October 24, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    why Indians can,t digest it??? they think its gonna stay this way forever?? chill people and let other have fun too.

  • on October 24, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    This decision took 4 years?

  • on October 24, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    Very good go pakistan! I hope cricket comes back in Pakistan and they defeat south africa

  • Aristotle01 on October 24, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    it wont make any difference. NO one will go there anyway. Hahahah poor guys they are spending all the money that BCCI gave them on something that is useless

  • on October 24, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    gud decision..................

  • on October 24, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    if only 2pac had thought like the PCB

  • on October 24, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Best of luck Mr. Zaka Ashraf. We can see you and your board are trying and working very hard. We Pakistanis salute you and support you.

  • on October 24, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    this is really tremendous step by pcb , InshAllah international will back soon in Pakistan.

  • yorkslanka on October 24, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    good move by the PCB i think,better to be safe than sorry and hope it all goes well for you...

  • Legaleagle on October 24, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    A good decision by PCB - this is one of the many steps that is needed to be taken to convince international cricketing bodies that Pakistan is a safe country. Really hope that international cricket returns to Pakistan. But before that, I really hope general normalcy must return to Pakistan.

  • getsetgopk on October 24, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    what needs to be done has to be done right, keep up the good work mr zaka.

  • on October 24, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Good Move by PCB. I think they need to take more steps to make fool proof security to ensure other nations that we have safe place for CRICKET . Good Luck Pakistan and PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

  • on October 24, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    This is rather a good step by PCB. Hope Pak government help them in this matter to revive the cricket in Pak....

  • CaptainKool on October 24, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    hehe that is not required.

  • Sinhaya on October 24, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan from a Sri Lankan. I know how much you all miss international cricket in your shores. Hopefully the tour by the World XI will give a positive impression about Pakistan. Bullet proof buses are extremely paramount by all means.

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  • Sinhaya on October 24, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan from a Sri Lankan. I know how much you all miss international cricket in your shores. Hopefully the tour by the World XI will give a positive impression about Pakistan. Bullet proof buses are extremely paramount by all means.

  • CaptainKool on October 24, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    hehe that is not required.

  • on October 24, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    This is rather a good step by PCB. Hope Pak government help them in this matter to revive the cricket in Pak....

  • on October 24, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Good Move by PCB. I think they need to take more steps to make fool proof security to ensure other nations that we have safe place for CRICKET . Good Luck Pakistan and PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

  • getsetgopk on October 24, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    what needs to be done has to be done right, keep up the good work mr zaka.

  • Legaleagle on October 24, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    A good decision by PCB - this is one of the many steps that is needed to be taken to convince international cricketing bodies that Pakistan is a safe country. Really hope that international cricket returns to Pakistan. But before that, I really hope general normalcy must return to Pakistan.

  • yorkslanka on October 24, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    good move by the PCB i think,better to be safe than sorry and hope it all goes well for you...

  • on October 24, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    this is really tremendous step by pcb , InshAllah international will back soon in Pakistan.

  • on October 24, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Best of luck Mr. Zaka Ashraf. We can see you and your board are trying and working very hard. We Pakistanis salute you and support you.

  • on October 24, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    if only 2pac had thought like the PCB