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Down to PCB to convince other nations - Richardson

Umar Farooq

January 12, 2013

Comments: 74 | Text size: A | A

Dave Richardson speaks at the Champions Trophy event, London, October 17, 2012
Richardson said the recent "revival of ties with India" is a step in the right direction © Getty Images
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Dave Richardson, the ICC CEO, has said the ICC has a limited role to play in the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan and it will be down to the PCB to convince other nations that it is safe to play cricket in the country.

"Security is not something that is taken lightly by anybody," Richardson, who was in Pakistan for the PCB awards ceremony, said. "Making a decision as to whether it's safe or not involves a serious assessment of the risk. The ICC is not in a position to do [security assessment]. It's up to the member countries to decide. They have to take advice from their own security advisors and make decisions themselves.

"The bottom line is that the ICC views Pakistan as a very important part of international cricket," he said. "Pakistan is going through difficult times through no fault of the PCB. It's our role to support Pakistan in its efforts to make sure that international cricket returns to Pakistan. As soon as possible is what everyone would like, but it's difficult to say exactly when and I think that's about as much as far as we can go at this stage."

Pakistan has remained a no-go country for international teams since the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. In the past three years, Pakistan have played their 'home' series mostly in the UAE but reciprocal series at the junior level are on hold.Though the PCB has been desperate to revive international cricket, the efforts so far haven't yielded any positive results.

The PCB relies heavily on the government to arrange security for the visiting teams, but last year it sanctioned the purchase of bulletproof buses. Apart from working on security protocols, the PCB has been working on identifying potential new venues across the country and upgrading them to international standards. The board is also lobbying hard to win back the confidence of the teams.

"Coming from a country [South Africa] which was out of international cricket for a very large period of my career, I know that if you concentrate on your domestic cricket and you make sure you encourage people to play the game even if it's at first-class level you can reap tremendous rewards and in fact negative can turn into a positive and at the end of it all you might find that Pakistan cricket is much stronger than it was even before these difficult times."

Richardson also visited the National Cricket Academy where he was briefed about the developments in Pakistan cricket and PCB's plans with regards to promotion and management of the game in the country.

"The initiatives that PCB has put in place over the last 12 months or so I think it's the correct way to go," Richardson said and added that the recent "revival of ties with India" is a step in the right direction as the ties between the two countries are critical for world cricket.

"The announcement of the Twenty20 competition [PSL] where foreign players will be entitled to come and play if available, again that is, I think, an initiative on the right path because what you've got to do is to regain the confidence of cricketing world and I think that's a very sensible step in the right direction."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Kashif.Anwar on (January 14, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

@Karthik78 Does the security inside Pakistan have to do anything with cricket? As far as the Indian team is concerned, do they have any series win against good teams since they won WC. Honestly I am starting to doubt if their win in WC was legit or not.

Posted by Divinetouch on (January 14, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

Meety,

I agree it is not cricket fans is the problem.

It is not an issue of crowd behaviour at the cricket grounds the problem is much bigger when security in Pakistan is discussed.

Posted by legsidewide on (January 14, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

What a cop-out, ICC washing its hands of the problem. It's their duty to help develop and maintain the game for its members, and this is just an admission of unwillingness to help. Instead of ducking out, they should acknowledge that the PCB's efforts can only be successful if they are done with the support of the ICC and its members. As it is, the ICC lurches from one farce to another, and it's hard to see the benefit or purpose of it at all

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

i think its not the perfect time for calling the international players to play at our grounds. the only issue is security. I am one of those who believe that the bangaliz rejection is valid! but the way they took, that was wrong. ICC and PCB should wait till everything gets calm at home. Currently the situation is very bad and something happening to a sports team can make it worse. Secondly to people like @DivineTouch... do not bring behaviors of someone into it. we all know that the indians lead the way in corruption and also in match fixing throughout the globle (not only cricket). The only thing is that your media hides everything and feeds your empty brains with invalid or irrelevant information regarding their rivals. if that is so .. compare the tour pakistan by the indian team in 2004.. with pakistan tour to india the following year, and you can c the difference,

Posted by Meety on (January 14, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

@Divinetouch on (January 12 2013, 17:52 PM GMT) - I do not believe crowd behaviour is any significant factor at all. I could not say that Pakistan have any more issues than any other country with crowds misbehaving. It is non-cricket fans that are the problem.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 14, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

Pakistsan have produced some great players during my time watching cricket (I am 41), as well as unfortunately a fair bit of controversy. However let us not forget why no cricket has been played there, gunmen attacked Sri Lankas bus! Can anyone decrying the ICC honestly say the security situation improved considerably? Any touring team is going to be a target to undermine the government if this happened touring may never happen again, having to play in UAE is unfortunate but what is the alternative? What has this got to do with the ICC they are not responsible for the domestic situation in any country.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 13, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

I m afraid Pak will never host an inrnational match again

Posted by Divinetouch on (January 13, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

DaDaL0G

Your myopic view of the security situation in Pakistan will not enable other nations to want to play cricket in Pakistan.

Most Pakistani cricketers are decent people but the players are not responsible for the poor secuirty in your country.

Again, Pakistanis must first acknowledge that thereis a problem with security in their country and then and only then will they make a serious effort to confront this epidemic in their country and implement change that will not only ensure other nations return to play cricket there but their own populace will benefit.

Let me repeat myself other nations do not have it in for Pakistani cricketers - Ramiz Raja and Wasim Akram for example commentate on cricket in other countries.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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