Pakistan hopes security company meeting will help in Windies tour
Lahore, Jan 20 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not given up hope on a West Indies tour here next March and will be meeting with security company Eastern Star International to contest a security report that acted as a catalyst in the Caribbean country’s decision not to play in the volatile Asian country.
The security report formed the basis of the Federation of International Cricketers’ (FICA) recent recommendation to members against touring Pakistan, reports CMC.
A proposed two-match Twenty20 Internationals series in Lahore against the Caribbean seemed to be off the cards after FICA issued a damning advisory indicating an “elevated security risk” for those choosing to tour Pakistan.
That advisory was based on an assessment by Eastern Star International and was apparently behind the decision by the West Indies players union (WIPA) not giving their go-ahead to the tour.
However, the PCB said it intended to put forward “the factual position and the improvement in the security situation” in Pakistan during the meeting with the security company.
“After the FICA advisory came out we investigated on what basis they had given such an advice and we found out their security advisors were Eastern Star Security,” Najam Sethi, the head of PCB’s executive committee, said on Thursday.
“The company is a international company which works primarily in international sports and they provide advice to some cricket board including ICC, Australia, New Zealand, England and players associations of these countries, South Africa and FICA.”
He continued: “We just want to know on what basis they have given their advisory about security in Pakistan when none of their representatives came to Pakistan to see the ground reality.
“I will be meeting their officials to let them know about the factual position and the improvement in the security situation in Pakistan which is why we are also trying to bring back international cricket to the country.”
The PCB wanted two T20 Internationals against the West Indies here in March in return for giving the green light to an invitation from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to a similar two-match series in Florida, United States, later that month.
Since then, the WICB have announced a full series against Pakistan in the Caribbean of three Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two T20Is from March 31 to May 10.
But Sethi said they were still in talks with the WICB to have the matches staged in Lahore.
“We have told them that they can keep all the revenues and earnings from the two T20 matches that they have invited us to play in Florida before we go to the West Indies,” Sethi explained.
“We have also told them we will keep all the revenues generated from the matches they come and play in Pakistan.”
No major cricketing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009 when a bus carrying the Sri Lankan Test side was attacked by militants. Six players were injured and several law enforcement officers killed.
Pakistan has since played their “home” series in the United Arab Emirates.