LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has strongly condemned the statement from Federation of International Cricket Associations (FICA) that Pakistan is a risky venue for international teams.
A statement from FICA said that Pakistan is at an extremely elevated state of insecurity and westerners and luxury hotels have been attacked in the country. The federation released these statements without naming their security expert and sitting thousand miles away from the country and being completely unaware of the ground realities.
PCB released a statement in response of FICA’s irresponsible declaration.
“FICA has done great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular by advising players not to play in the PSL Final in Lahore next March because of “security reasons”,” said a release issued by the PCB.
“FICA has cited unnamed “expert Security Consultants” for “updated security advice” that claims Pakistan is “at an extremely elevated state of insecurity.”
“This is a careless and cavalier approach to an issue of great importance. FICA sits thousands of miles away from Pakistan and cannot name even one credible security expert, yet makes a sweeping negative statement about the security situation in Lahore. FICA’s claim that “westerners and luxury hotels have been attacked” is contrary to the facts on the ground that prove that not a single foreigner or hotel has been attacked in Lahore in the last five years,” clarified the board.
Pakistan Cricket Board also mentioned that they have hosted Kenya, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Bangladesh (women) and Malaysian national cricket team without any negative incident.
“PCB has recently hosted Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh (Women), Afghanistan and Malaysian national cricket teams in Lahore and Karachi without any problem,” said the statement.
“In the case of PSL Final in Lahore for one day, the government has guaranteed protection by over 3000 army and police personnel in Lahore. PCB will provide armored buses for travel along with VVIP security protocols,” revealed the cricket board.
The PCB also highlighted that many big names have toured Pakistan recently, “It may also be noted that a group of foreign players including Jonty Rhodes, Brain Lara, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath, Dean Jones, Mark Butcher, Marvin Atapatu, Herschelle Gibbs, Damien Martyn, Andy Roberts, Danny Morrison, Sanath Jayasuriya, Andrew Symonds, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Smith, Cameron Delport etc are regular visitors to Pakistan on assignment with Pakistan TV and are available to vouchsafe the safety and security of foreign cricketers in the country.”
The board also said in the statement that they have got green signal from many top international players to play the final of Pakistan Super League in Lahore.