Security must for match officials to go to Pakistan: Lorgat

December 22nd, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 22 (IANS) The proposed Pakistan-Sri Lanka series has run into trouble after the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat made it clear that the match officials will not be going there until a security assessment is made.”We will do an independent assessment of the situation in Pakistan to ensure the safety of the umpires and match referee,” Lorgat said here Monday.

“I am convinced the Sri Lankan board will also ascertain whether it is safe to play in Pakistan and also seek assurances from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). We will do our own assessment. After all, we will be appointing the match officials.”

Sri Lanka agreed to fill in after the Indian government denied its cricketers permission to play in Pakistan after holding the neighbouring country for the Mumbai terror attacks in November.

Sri Lanka are due to play three Tests and five one-day internationals in Pakistan in Jan-Feb.

On the Champions Trophy, which got postponed from September over security concerns, Lorgat said the ICC would ask it security advisers to assess the situation in Pakistan before clearing it. A decision will be taken at the ICC’s executive Board meeting next month.

“We would like to see cricket in Pakistan,” he said, “but again that depends on the safety and security in the area.

“India’s tour of Pakistan could have provided us inputs for the Champions Trophy, but now that it has been cancelled, Sri Lanka’s tour might provide us that input.”

Pakistan went through this year without playing a Test match as teams refused to tour the country, citing security fears.

As for the 2011 cricket World Cup in the Asian sub-continent, Lorgat said: “We have a fair amount of time for the World Cup and we have made the schedule in such a way that we can switch it any time. We always have a back-up venue for world cup in case of any emergency. This time we have Australia and New Zealand as stand-by.”

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