Disagreement over proposed Pakistan tour

The ICC and FICA disagree over whether Pakistan is ready to host a tour with Bangladesh in April.

    Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since gunmen attacked Sri Lanka team in March 2009 [AFP]

    The Federation of International Cricket Associations criticised the International Cricket Council on Friday for its stance on Bangladesh's proposed tour of Pakistan.

    The ICC is prepared to suspend its rules and allow non-neutral umpires to oversee the matches so as not to compromise the safety of ICC match officials, but it said it is up to participating teams to decide whether a tour goes ahead.

    "The ICC should be doing its utmost to convince the two boards to postpone the series, not contemplating whether to amend its own rules to give the series official endorsement,'' FICA chief executive Tim May said in a statement on Friday.

    FICA represents several national players' associations, including Bangladesh.

    Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team at Lahore in March 2009 that killed six police officials and a van driver carrying match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium on the third day of the Test match.

    "The advice was clear cut... a cricket tour to Pakistan by any team is not manageable and presents an unacceptable security risk"

    FICA chief executive Tim May

    Bangladesh will likely finalise Lahore as the venue for next month's proposed series of either three one-day internationals or two ODIs and a Twenty20 international.

    A nine-man Bangladesh security delegation - led by the country's cricket board president Mustafa Kamal - visited Pakistan last week and even witnessed a mock-up of how the teams will travel from the hotel to the stadium.

    Kamal said he was satisfied with the security and safety arrangements and will talk to his government and the ICC about the proposed tour.

    But May believes that having received advice that Pakistan is still not ready to host international cricket, the ICC should step in and cancel the tour in the interests of the players' safety.

    "The ICC has a duty of care to its stakeholders - it has a duty of care to the players of teams, the officials of teams and the general public, irrespective of whether this is a bilateral event or an ICC event such as the World Cup,'' May said.

    "The advice was clear cut... a cricket tour to Pakistan by any team is not manageable and presents an unacceptable security risk.'

    SOURCE: AP


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