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FICA warning could hurt Pakistan league - Lorgat

Umar Farooq

January 23, 2013

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Haroon Lorgat and Zaka Ashraf unveil the Pakistan Super League logo, Lahore, January 10, 2013
Haroon Lorgat and the PCB are confident the Pakistan Super League will take place © Pakistan Cricket Board
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Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC chief executive who is an advisor to the Pakistan Super League (PSL), has said FICA's warning to players not to travel to Pakistan because of security concerns could adversely impact the tournament. Lorgat, however, said the reality of the ground situation in Lahore was different from common perceptions.

"It's unfortunate, there are many players who will be undecided and when a statement is negative, it doesn't help," Lorgat said of FICA's comments. "It doesn't help the confidence of some players. Fortunately there are many who have already committed and who are confident … they trust the assurance given by the PCB.

"I think the statement is not against the PSL, it's about the safety situation in Pakistan. While we understand that sort of a statement from the players association, I don't think we necessarily agree with it. Here I'm sitting again, in Lahore, and I understand the situation on the ground in Lahore. There's been a very good response across the globe by broadcasters who are keen and interested, and who are currently studying the detailed document. We are confident the league will happen on March 26. There's a lot of interest from players as well. We know what the challenges are, it's reality, but we will overcome those challenges."

Tim May, the FICA chief, had said most cricketers would heed the advice not to travel to Pakistan. "The security consultants came back and said that the risk of touring Pakistan in a cricketing sense is unmanageable," he said. "I haven't spoken directly to any players but the feedback we are getting from player associations throughout the world is that players are very appreciative and understanding of the advice. We can't force the players not to go but I think you'll find the majority, if not all, of current international cricketers will heed that advice and, unfortunately for Pakistan, not participate in this event this year."

The PCB said it did not recognise FICA and would not enter into discussions with them, dealing directly with the member boards instead. However, the Pakistan board did not reveal which foreign players had expressed interest in the PSL and said they would make an announcement once the pool was ready.

"Our stated position on FICA is very clear, we don't recognise them, so when we don't endorse them it makes no sense to go into discussions with them at any level," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said. "As far as we are concerned we have no direct relationship with FICA.

"ICC's defined process is very clear, whether a player is approached directly or through the board, we have approached various boards but obviously without NOC we will not allow players to come. We have written to various boards and we are confident that players will come to the league."

The PCB has not announced a venue for the PSL but ESPNcricinfo has learned the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore is one of the leading options and that the board is already in talks with the Punjab government regarding security. The PCB has also engaged an independent security agency to assist in the arrangements.

Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Since then they have had to play their 'home' matches at offshore venues such as England and the UAE.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

PSL is not a properly structured league, 5 teams and still you have a semi-final is beyond my belief. We'll see if this so called 'super' league goes well safely.

Posted by FaisalPakistan on (January 24, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Forbig Dhonifan,mariakutty and others?????

PSL do not need your sport. You had better first improve you cricket as is up to the level of "Minows" Your need teams like China, Malaysia,Maldives,Japan,Koria etc to produce another SR Tendulkar, Kohli etc.

Posted by Coolgye on (January 24, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Either put on a combined league called SAPL- South Asian Premiere League. OR if the Asian countries have problems then they should carry on with the Pakistan Super League BUT it should be held in UAE untill there is enough assurity of security in Pakistan. They should start it in UAE and then after 2-3 seasons start in Pakistan with the assurity of security. Hopefully these ideas are somehow sent to the PCB!

Posted by reality_check on (January 24, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

@Mariakutty: You have a valid point. There is just too much of T20 cricket including IPL but this effort by PCB is purely for two reason I believes. 1) The most important one is to get the international cricket back to Pakistan. If PSL is successful for first two years, people will take notice specially if there are foriegn players in it. 2) To give Pakistan players some financial reward because the cash rich IPL does not allow them in. I don't think PSL solves any other purpose then that.

Posted by Mariakutty on (January 24, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

As n Indian, I wish PSL all success. However, I remember many top officials from Pakistan and across the globe blaming the IPL for killing cricket. The question is, why do you have to start another if it's so? Before spending millions for n' event in Pakistan where you have lots of restrictions and fear for security, it would be better to do some homework about this project. Even starting a small shop requires some foresight.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

PCB should launch it in UAE this year. 2013 is a year of change for Pakistan. Elections will hopefully be done by 2013-14 and once the security situation improves, they can bring the event back to Pakistan. I hardly think 2 million usd insurance is going to attract the regular players of the internation leagues.

Posted by saifur.raffael on (January 24, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Its pretty clear now there will no international plyrs from Ind,Eng,Aus.Ban,Windies,SA,NewZ & probably srilanka too.......also dont think t20 experts like R Ten doeschate,Hodge,Shah,Thomas,botha etc. coming ......only Afghan talents will be playing...but still PSL will be gud wid Pak's own plyrs.......

Posted by Crick_Expert on (January 24, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Pakistan team should be as 1-Nasir Jamshed, 2-Mohd Hafeez, 3-Taufeeq Umar, 4-Azhar Ali, 5-Younis Khan, 6-Misbha Naizi, 7-Sarfaraz Ahmed, 8--Umar Gul, 9-Saeed Ajmal, 10-Junaid Khan, 11-Mohd Irfan

Posted by duronto_pothik on (January 24, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

All the best to PSL. Surely PAK people deserve some cricket.

Posted by redneck on (January 24, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

pcb must realise that refusing to deal with FICA is only hurting their own cause. yes its nice to talk to your counterparts in the other countries but unlike in pakistan boards like england and australias have their hands tied as the players association are officially recognised as the authority that will ultimatly decide what is safe to vist and whats not. keeping them in the dark is keeping players in the dark and pakistan need as little darkness as possible if they ever want a non asian country to ever grace its shores again. besides no other cricket board will want their players involved if it can be helped, to much cricket as it is.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 23, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

@drnaveed - couldn't agree with you anymore! during his ICC days Lorgat tone of voice when concerning pakistan was always harsh and negative. how times change!

@ pjhonson - that is a brilliant idea. get the associate teams as well in maybe 2nd edition of the tournament. team like Ireland will do very well. plus it will spread cricket nicely to those associate countries. if only the PCB and Lorgat is reading this :)

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 23, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Finally Pak fans realize no foreign player wil come so they all r saying now they dont need players from other countries for success of league. Grapes r sour. Hope at least it complete one full season of PSL

Posted by pjhonson on (January 23, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

PSL will be a treat to watch. As an England team supporter, I am always mesmerized by the sheer beauty of Pakistani raw talent. In my opinion Pakistan should include players from associate teams as these team are not getting any good representation and some brilliant talent goes wasted. Big teams like India or Australia are declining and their mediocre players should not be allowed. Pakistan can build Afghan and Bangladesh players by allowing them to participate in a tournament which will introduce new bowlers from Pakistan's pace factories. I am sure this 1st PSL tournament will give the PCB authorities an opportunity to gain confidence and expertise. The next editions of PSL could be arranged in South Africa, UK, Middle East or even North America. Even Ireland, Kenya, Holland and Zimbabwe are good venues. These countries have excellent cricketing infrastructure, but always let down by bullying boards. PSL can revive cricket in these countries. Good luck PSL.

Posted by Drzeeshanafzal on (January 23, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Yeah it is definetly gona rock.... Stadium is gona jam pack coz I witnessed this when I was in lahore..Pakistan should not allow bangladeshi players to participate in it. i love to see Nazir and Razaq ..PSL does not need any foreign player to make it successfull.Good Luck!

Posted by AndersonNeo on (January 23, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

I don't think PCB will get their moneys worth from Lorgat. There is a guy called Modi who maybe available and can do a much better job.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 23, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 Buddy, they can get from China, Malaysia, Bermuda and Afghan as well.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 23, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

@Syed_imran_abbas Bud, I have traveled USA, UK, UAE , India and Australia, may be you haven't seen the world as I saw. PSL gonna rock in Pakistan as there is no cricket there, not outside. The TRP rating in all other countries will be low even if all Pakistani origin see the match. IPL getting manageable TRP's as India is the 2nd populous country and has the second largest diaspora all around in the world. No current player fromm Aus, SL, Ind, Ban, Eng, WI, NZ and SAF will be playing. you may get some retired rejected players.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (January 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Well, I would say it is indeed a good opportunity for pakistan to invite players from Kenya, Namibia, Nepal and Holland, and show the World that pak is the safest place to play Cricket and PSL is the best league. Good Luck !

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (January 23, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

Bigdhonifan: you are just a frog of well, dont know the world outside. your minds are narrow and will always stay like that. You guys are always negative.. anyways as long as tournament is concern it is going to be a success. PCB and Haroon Logart is doing a good job. Players will be provided good security and there are going to have a good competitive cricket there is Pakistan. PSL is gona rock.

Posted by Mariakutty on (January 23, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

The Venue, UAE is fantastic. However, the crowd turnout won't be good during working days. No one will skip duty to watch Cricket in this region. Pakistan can prove the world by conducting the tournament with their own players and also players from Afghanistan. If the it starts well, then think of a larger scale.

Posted by drnaveed on (January 23, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

what mr haroon lorgat is saying now, ,perhaps it would have been meaning ful , had he had said these world when he was the president of ICC, perhaps , than we were not paying him for the job , he is doing for us now.............. yes, better if Pakistan hold PPL our country,, perhaps than all big stars will participate in it, which is more imporatant.

Posted by waseemsarwar on (January 23, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

well Sanath, Murli, Bosman, Few Afghan players, few Lankans are probably in. Can see guys from Ireland and Scotland also coming. People will still pack the Gaddafi stadium to see Afridi and Sanath in same eleven. All PCB needs to do is to promote it professionally. TV ratings in USA, UAE and UK will be also quite high due to strong Pakistani community and in the end it will be people of Pakistan who will decide if PSL is a hit or fail and when you have business like SHahid Khan willing to spend huge, you know where PSL is going. It won't match IPL but it will pay more than BPL, SLPL, BBL and other stuff.

Posted by Stark62 on (January 23, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Umm.......

Lorgat is still in one piece and so was the recently World/Retired 11, that toured Pak and played matches (including Sanath, Nel, Bosman and many more).

Posted by ZAB2121 on (January 23, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

FICA website "Its representations and benefits however, are extended to all players, whether from FICA countries or not" yeah right, has anyone heard a positive feed for PCB or a Pakistani Player ever by FICA.

Posted by saifur.raffael on (January 23, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

Pakistan really needs its cricket back.....but whatever lorgat is saying its really very unlikely to happen.......i dont think its gone attract much or probably no high quality players like IPL or like BPL,BBL & SLPL ....Most of the high quality players R either playing IPL or BPL,BBL & SLPL..1 million $ is still not going to attract plyrs in PSL coz this plyrs r already earning pretty much amount from this top leagues.....so why would they risk going there...it can only attract players if they will play the league outside of pakistan....so taking all this facts ,i think its not the correct time to launch PSL....

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 23, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Pcb needs couple of more ppl like logart assosiated with psl. Logarts comments wud give lot of confidence to players as he is present in pakistan unlike Fica. Well said pcb, no need to get fica engaged in any level talks. They just trying to get some attention.

Posted by getsetgopk on (January 23, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

Agree a 100% with the idea of arranging it in UAE, infact its absolutely necessary, for anything new you have to give it a chance to succeed and let it breath. Let the first edition be played at UAE across three venues of Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it will be a huge success both in terms of the number of foreign players in it and also the crowds in UAE are always excellent. Maybe from 2nd or 3rd edition we can bring it back to Pak, it may loose some players but the tournament would already be a successful product by then, having said that, im not a fan of these leagues but its necessary as there is a potentially huge market in Pak and the format is quite liked in Pak, will earn PCB a quick buck. There have been some humongous crowds at the local T20 competition in recent months.

Posted by Cricblogger on (January 23, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

@Anwar-Lara, you don't need to say that - out loud ;)

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 23, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Why don't in Dubai, Abudhabi and Sharjah?

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Players from Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Windies, Bangladesh, England, NZ are associated with FICA. So the players from these countries wont be available. And no way an Indian player will participate on this non-sense tournament. Better play with local players or some one from associate nations.

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (January 23, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

@ kc69, understand your concern but the main reason behind organising PSL is to bring the international cricket / players back to Pakistan.If we cant do it in Pakistan than there is no point of having it at all.

Posted by kc69 on (January 23, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

Its good for Pakistan to organize a league.But if there is a threat to the tournament why not hold it outside Pakistan (at least for the first time).As we did it to the second season for IPL (Due to elections in 2009) and then when conditions normalize PCB can do it at home from next season onward.I see a scenario that Pakistan can produce good cricketers but the board(PCB) cannot earn any money.

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