Pakistan needs major steps to bring back international cricket: ICC

January 14th, 2011 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 14 (IANS) Pakistan will have to take major steps to regain the confidence of foreign teams if it wants to bring international cricket back to this country, a senior International Cricket Council (ICC) official said here Friday.Dave Richardson, ICC general manager (Cricket), told reporters here at the National Stadium that much will depend on how the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistani government tackle this issue in the coming days.

“ICC wants international cricket to return to this country as soon as possible but it is not up to the body to give confidence to foreign teams about touring Pakistan. It is the responsibility of PCB and the Pakistan government to restore confidence of foreign teams,” said Richardson who is on a visit here to witness the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, the country’s premier first-class tournament.

“PCB should begin with hosting junior or other teams to regain confidence of international teams,” stressed the former South African Test cricketer.

Pakistan has become a no-go zone for international teams since a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka cricket team in March 2009. The ICC official made it clear that it could take a long time before international cricket returns to Pakistan and added that during that time, the PCB should continue taking steps to bolster the domestic game.

To a question, Richardson rejected the impression that the ICC is intervening in internal matters of the PCB including selection of the national team.

“It is not in ICC constitution to interfere in matters of any member board. The body only assists the member boards in difficult situation.”

Conspiracy theories have been rife here that the ICC is dictating terms and is even telling the PCB about the players it can’t select for national duty.

Richardson praised Pakistan’s domestic structure. “I have experience of South Africa domestic structure and county, Pakistan domestic standards are no less than it,” said Richardson, who played 42 Tests and 122 One-Day Internationals.

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