Pakistan hopes to lure cricket teams with foolproof security

December 10th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 10 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly finalized foolproof security plans for the visiting cricket teams, official sources revealed here Saturday.

The first step for the PCB will be trying to convince Bangladesh, where the Pakistani cricket team is playing these days, Xinhua reported.

According to sources, the PCB’s newly appointed chairman Zaka Ashraf has planned to meet Mustafa Kamal, his counterpart from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), on the sidelines of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Singapore next week.

After that, Ashraf will again go back to Bangladesh at the end of the Pakistani team’s tour to give the final presentation of the security plan in Pakistan.

“The board (PCB) has formed a foolproof security plan and it will be presented and explained to the all cricket nations in future,” the source said.

Pakistan last hosted an international sports event on March 3, 2009, when some unidentified gunmen attacked Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus on its way from the hotel to stadium in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore where they were to play a match against Pakistan.

In the attack, eight Pakistanis including six policemen were killed and six Sri Lankan players and two officials were injured. After the incident, the Sri Lankan team were quickly air-lifted from the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

After this incident, all international sports activities were stopped and since then the country has lost out on millions of dollars of revenue annually.

The country’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has already promised to provide presidential level security to any foreign sports team visiting Pakistan.

If the PCB is successful, it would be a big achievement by the new management to bring back international cricket to Pakistan following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009.

Sources, demanding anonymity, told Xinhua that Pakistan will try to persuade Bangladesh to send its team in 2012 to Pakistan by supporting Bangladesh, under a give-and-take formula, for the selection of the next International Cricket Council (ICC) vice-president by conceding its right.

PCB chairman Ashraf will also visit India this month and will meet Indian officials to carry on the country’s earlier attempts to revive cricket ties with India.

According to the Future Tours Program of the ICC, Pakistani team is scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five One-Day International matches in March and April next year.

But Pakistan has not received any final word from India whether they are ready for the series or not.

The teams of both countries could not play any single bilateral series since the November 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks.

As other teams are not ready to visit Pakistan, the PCB has been successfully arranging the matches at neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but officials consider it fatal for the development of sports activities in the country.

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