Pakistan news June 11, 2014

Ireland talks over Pakistan tour on hold

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Pakistan's hopes of reviving international cricket at home were dealt a big blow after Ireland decided to hold back on its ongoing discussion with the PCB regarding a proposed tour to Pakistan later this year, following the terrorist attacks on Karachi airport this week.

Ireland had been willing to tour Pakistan as early as September on the condition of security assurances, but the terrorist attacks in and around Karachi airport which has killed more than 30 people, have now ruled out the proposition. "Cricket Ireland and the PCB were in advanced discussions to play three ODIs in Pakistan in September," Barry Chambers, Cricket Ireland's spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo.

"These discussions had taken place between the respective chairmen and CEOs over the past three weeks, and had involved contact with ICC, governments, and security advisors. There had been a preliminary agreement to play three games subject to a security review by credible experts, and agreement from the players and staff, which would have been the next stage of the process. With the recent tragic events at Karachi Airport, the series will now be deferred to a later date."

Pakistan has not hosted an international match since the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009. However, ESPNcricinfo understands that upon the persuasion of ECB chairman Giles Clarke, Ireland became the first major cricket-playing nation to show their support to Pakistan, and were even willing to play in the country.

"Cricket Ireland is obviously very keen to secure as many fixtures as possible against Full Members, and these proposed games would have been very beneficial ahead of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup," Chambers said.

Ireland had initially been invited to tour Pakistan early last year following Bangladesh's withdrawal from a scheduled series in January. The PCB tried hard to negotiate a home series with the BCB, but Bangladesh withdrew twice after seemingly having committed to the tour.

For the last three months, the PCB has been using diplomatic channels in a bid to win back lost confidence. There had been frequent visits by the European Union delegation at the PCB headquarters. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, the head of the European Union delegation to Pakistan, had called on the PCB Chairman Najam Sethi in March, and this was followed by another delegation visit last month.

"The PCB is trying to bring back international cricket to Pakistan," Sethi had said. "Every diplomatic effort is being made for the revival of bilateral and other international cricket in this country."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | June 14, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Ireland should play in pak and break the ice!

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | June 14, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    Thanks Ireland for the support. But as a Pakistani and as a true friend I would not advocate the Irish team to tour Pakistan right now. It is sad to see the country in turmoil.

  • POSTED BY on | June 14, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    Ireland HAVE to tour Pakistan other wise the situation will NEVER change in Pakistan. Pakistani players have played in Ireland for years without any problems in the areas known to have "troubles".

  • POSTED BY SanjivAwesome on | June 13, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    PCB should just "home" tests in middle east. That way Pakistan's talent can be showcased globally. Pakistani soil has so many weeds, it should not be the unitary definition of "home".

  • POSTED BY on | June 13, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Only Afghanistan can tour Pakistan . Better arrange 2 ODIs Series with Afghanistan .

  • POSTED BY on | June 13, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Here's hoping this gets sorted out. Ireland need the games and it is such a shame that Pakistan are unable to hold matches. It will be massively beneficial for both sides for this to go ahead.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | June 13, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    With all these unwanted issues, cricket in Pak is stand stilled & ultimately poor Pak cricket lovers who suffers....

  • POSTED BY on | June 12, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    @Medha Rahman

    Because Bangladesh confirmed it, but cancelled at the last minute. Ireland was just merely in the talks.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 12, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    wish, things get better for pakiatan..... so keen to see once again cricket comes back in pakistan... all the very best.. indian supporter...

  • POSTED BY on | June 12, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    So it's ok if Ireland doesn't tour but every Pakistani cricket fan kicked up a fuss when Bangladesh cited security concerns as a reason not to visit. Double standards.

  • POSTED BY on | June 14, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Ireland should play in pak and break the ice!

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | June 14, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    Thanks Ireland for the support. But as a Pakistani and as a true friend I would not advocate the Irish team to tour Pakistan right now. It is sad to see the country in turmoil.

  • POSTED BY on | June 14, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    Ireland HAVE to tour Pakistan other wise the situation will NEVER change in Pakistan. Pakistani players have played in Ireland for years without any problems in the areas known to have "troubles".

  • POSTED BY SanjivAwesome on | June 13, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    PCB should just "home" tests in middle east. That way Pakistan's talent can be showcased globally. Pakistani soil has so many weeds, it should not be the unitary definition of "home".

  • POSTED BY on | June 13, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Only Afghanistan can tour Pakistan . Better arrange 2 ODIs Series with Afghanistan .

  • POSTED BY on | June 13, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Here's hoping this gets sorted out. Ireland need the games and it is such a shame that Pakistan are unable to hold matches. It will be massively beneficial for both sides for this to go ahead.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | June 13, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    With all these unwanted issues, cricket in Pak is stand stilled & ultimately poor Pak cricket lovers who suffers....

  • POSTED BY on | June 12, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    @Medha Rahman

    Because Bangladesh confirmed it, but cancelled at the last minute. Ireland was just merely in the talks.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 12, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    wish, things get better for pakiatan..... so keen to see once again cricket comes back in pakistan... all the very best.. indian supporter...

  • POSTED BY on | June 12, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    So it's ok if Ireland doesn't tour but every Pakistani cricket fan kicked up a fuss when Bangladesh cited security concerns as a reason not to visit. Double standards.

  • POSTED BY ABLcric on | June 12, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Young Pakistan cricketers should grow up learning to accept and believe that Emirate cricket grounds as our "home" grounds. As simple as that!! PCB should includes these grounds in domestic tournaments, to provide experience to local players to learn and adapt to these "home" grounds.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 12, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    @Abid Raza- You are living in a delusional dream world.. Pakistan is very safe? Yeah, Sangakkara and co would confirm your statement.. Go and tell them this very same thing..

  • POSTED BY mihir_nam on | June 12, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    Pakistan can invite Afghanistan for 3 Odi's they will tour Pakisan

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | June 12, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    This tour can not be really a cricket tour. Even a Pakistan C team is better than Ireland. From pure cricket terms, Pakistan has not lost anything. I wish Pakistan domestic teams play with Indian domestic teams, Ranji etc- e.g., Pak Punjab vs Karnataka or something like that. Also, Pakistan players be included for IPL. These will really help Pakistan and to some extent even India.

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | June 12, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Being Pakistani, I really feel uncomfortable when I see PCB is trying to bring International cricket back to Pakistani soil. It makes no sense to do it at all. I am unsafe, how could I expect my govt to provide a fool proof security to foreign peoples? I will be surprised if any team commits to visit Pakistan. Dude, don't do that. stay away. Cricket is not the solution to tell the world and build confidence. Instead the govt should try to improve the life style and strate rehablitation programs that helps people here to think out of hte box and come out of the danger that is posed on us for past 1.5 decades. I dont want to witness another 2009 incident.

  • POSTED BY KANCHANA623 on | June 12, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    Pakistan government should take some special measures to establish peace in Pakistan. Perhaps they can learn a lesson from Srilanka.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 12, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    fact of the matter is that u never know when these kinds of incidents can happen in pak..situation getting worse after PM sharif s India visit.... not good signs

  • POSTED BY KEVINSL on | June 12, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    We are always with you pakistan

  • POSTED BY Click_Click_Cricket on | June 12, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    It doesn't matter who goes where to play, what matters is SECURITY. If there is security problem, there should be no cricket. PERIOD. India set up a good example by moving IPL to UAE during their election time.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | June 11, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    It's very sad but true that Pakistan must not try to bring cricket back until things get settle here.. Its not just Pakistans lost but of cricket and any true cricket fan in the world as well to not see cricket in Pakistan from long time. We love cricket and it will return to Pakistan soon.

  • POSTED BY on | June 11, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    I am saddened for the families of those that were lost in these attacks. Pakistan have been a great friend to Irish cricket and I was (and still am) looking forward to Ireland opening the door for other tours to this great cricketing nation once more when circumstances allow.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    no surprise in it. will have to wait for it. latest attacks are in response to army's strikes so may see some more in coming weeks etc. so its better to hold it for few more months.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    gud decision Ireland

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    I had really high hopes from the present government that they will be able to revive peace in the country. but sadly they have failed. The govt should take responsibility. may the peace be restored soon.

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | June 11, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    The Irish players should thank their lucky stars that this happened before and not during the tour. So, does this mean there will be no PPL this year?

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | June 11, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    Agree that Pakistan team is very talented and their fans are the most passionate about cricket but one simply cannot put their life in risk to play cricket in the most hostile country of the world.I think Pakistan is still not upto hosting international games.

  • POSTED BY cooldxve on | June 11, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Though I support the Pakistan Cricket team and I want international cricket revived in Pakistan, but I don't think this is the right time to do that. A players' safety is much more important than any other concerns. We have already seen one attack directly on a cricket team in that country. So it's better not to make decisions in a hurry. If something happens to any player then we Pakistani fans will feel very ashamed. We have to be patient and wait for the right time.

  • POSTED BY on | June 11, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    pakistan is safe country

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 11, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Not happy to say this but international teams can visit stadiums in Punjab where security concerns and very less.

  • POSTED BY asiacricket1234 on | June 11, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Good decision by Ireland cricket. They are an associate team so may not be as strong as others but the players are still human being and have a family. You can't send them to a country where the security situation is so weak. I feel for Pakistan and believe that cricket should get back there but at the moment it is way to risky. If international team of any kind goes there terrorist will want to make the most of the opportunity. Its better for now to not to go there

  • POSTED BY asporag on | June 11, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    It's proved again that Pakistan is not a genuinely secure country for holding international cricket match. It also proved that Bangladesh had made the right decision of holding back their team from touring Pakistan. I do suggest, Pakistan should make their investment to develop international standard security rather than on cricket as it seems to us that it has lack of money to upgrade its security.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | June 11, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Very disappointing. It's quite amazing that some of Pakistan's players, like Ajmal, Misbah etc. have excellent stats and they never get to play at home. There is nothing quite like the support of an enthusiastic home crowd to spur teams on to putting up outstanding performances, and Pakistani's never get to enjoy this advantage. So sad.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    i think for cricket to be safe ireland board's decision is a right one.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    there is only one winner here, which is not world cricket!!

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | June 11, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    I am from Karachi and it saddens to accept that the city is in no shape for foreign teams to tour. We still get hundreds of visitors from overseas on a daily basis but an international team would bring with it publicity and that is not good at this time in Karachi. However, Pakistan is huge, our cricket centres numerous and die hard followers of the game can be found everywhere within our great land. Most of Punjab is very safe and was the norm until 2009 teams would tour Lahore, Pindi, Multan etc I see no reason why that should not still happen.

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  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | June 11, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    I am from Karachi and it saddens to accept that the city is in no shape for foreign teams to tour. We still get hundreds of visitors from overseas on a daily basis but an international team would bring with it publicity and that is not good at this time in Karachi. However, Pakistan is huge, our cricket centres numerous and die hard followers of the game can be found everywhere within our great land. Most of Punjab is very safe and was the norm until 2009 teams would tour Lahore, Pindi, Multan etc I see no reason why that should not still happen.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    there is only one winner here, which is not world cricket!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 11, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    i think for cricket to be safe ireland board's decision is a right one.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | June 11, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Very disappointing. It's quite amazing that some of Pakistan's players, like Ajmal, Misbah etc. have excellent stats and they never get to play at home. There is nothing quite like the support of an enthusiastic home crowd to spur teams on to putting up outstanding performances, and Pakistani's never get to enjoy this advantage. So sad.

  • POSTED BY asporag on | June 11, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    It's proved again that Pakistan is not a genuinely secure country for holding international cricket match. It also proved that Bangladesh had made the right decision of holding back their team from touring Pakistan. I do suggest, Pakistan should make their investment to develop international standard security rather than on cricket as it seems to us that it has lack of money to upgrade its security.

  • POSTED BY asiacricket1234 on | June 11, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Good decision by Ireland cricket. They are an associate team so may not be as strong as others but the players are still human being and have a family. You can't send them to a country where the security situation is so weak. I feel for Pakistan and believe that cricket should get back there but at the moment it is way to risky. If international team of any kind goes there terrorist will want to make the most of the opportunity. Its better for now to not to go there

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | June 11, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Not happy to say this but international teams can visit stadiums in Punjab where security concerns and very less.

  • POSTED BY on | June 11, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    pakistan is safe country

  • POSTED BY cooldxve on | June 11, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Though I support the Pakistan Cricket team and I want international cricket revived in Pakistan, but I don't think this is the right time to do that. A players' safety is much more important than any other concerns. We have already seen one attack directly on a cricket team in that country. So it's better not to make decisions in a hurry. If something happens to any player then we Pakistani fans will feel very ashamed. We have to be patient and wait for the right time.

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | June 11, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    Agree that Pakistan team is very talented and their fans are the most passionate about cricket but one simply cannot put their life in risk to play cricket in the most hostile country of the world.I think Pakistan is still not upto hosting international games.