Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) on Wednesday responded to Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) statement and said it did not advise players against participating in Pakistan Super League (PSL) final proposed to be played in Lahore.
PCB on Tuesday had criticised FICA for its alleged “careless and cavalier approach” to security issues relating to playing of the PSL final in Lahore, and stated that FICA has done great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and to Pakistan cricket.
FICA said it relied on advice given by highly credible specialist security consultants, Eastern Star International (ESI), in relation to security risks to players and teams who may contemplate playing in what may be considered high-risk cricket environments.
“ESI has supplied security services over several years to a number of cricket boards and international teams around the world and to the International Cricket Council (ICC),” FICA said.
FICA had obtained advice from the ESI related to security risks to cricketers playing in the PSL final.
FICA's memorandum to players and player agents accordingly did not advise players not to participate in the PSL final in Lahore, but informed players that they should do at their own risk and that players should check any insurance cover that may apply.
“Players around the world from affiliated countries have always looked to FICA to provide them with information relating to security risks of playing in various parts of the world”, Tony Irish, FICA's Executive Chairman said.
“It is our responsibility to provide this information, which we obtain from highly credible security experts, so that players can make informed decisions.”
“We have great sympathy for fans and players in Pakistan who have not been able to consistently watch international teams and high quality foreign players playing cricket in their country for several years," he said.
"FICA has no vested interest in this matter and is completely independent of the PSL. We consider the PSL a good opportunity for players and we would like to see it succeed. However the safety and security of players is, and will continue to be, a high priority matter for FICA."