Lahore blast derailed plans of bringing West Indies to Pakistan, reveals Najam Sethi
Chariman of PCB’s executive committe Najam Sethi has revealed that the bomb blast in Lahore in March derailed plans of bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. The PCB was moving in the right direction with the Windies Cricket Board and had almost convinced them to visit Pakistan but the blast ruined their efforts.
“We had held successful negotiations with them. We had nearly convinced them that they needed to support Pakistan cricket by playing in Pakistan some of the limited over games scheduled in the UAE this year. We told them these gesture would help us convince other teams to also tour the country despite their security concerns,” Sethi said according to Press Trust of India.
“We were close to inking a deal when the bomb blast took place at Gulshan Park in Lahore in March end and West Indies told us the security situation in Pakistan was not right for them to send their team at this time,” Sethi recalled.
Pakistan will full full series of Tests, ODIs and T20 matches in the UAE against the West Indies now that hosting the series in Pakistan in not possible. PCB has been forced to hold its home series in UAE since 2009 after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. Since then only Zimbabwe, Kenya and Afghanistan have visited Pakistan for short tours.
“People tend to look at the situation in Bangladesh and Pakistan with different perceptions. In Bangladesh, they see the recent incidents as lone wolf attacks or by radicals. In Pakistan the perception is that there are full scale terrorist attacks and no one is safe from them,” he said.
He said other Boards fear their teams could be targets for terrorists to make a statement, especially after the attack on the Sri Lankan team. “But we have been doing our utmost to convince other Boards to support us in revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Our cricket has suffered a lot because of this factor since 2009,” he said.