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Pakistan done 'significant' work on security: ICC official

Published Jan 28, 2017 11:33pm

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Giles Clarke, right, head of International Cricket Council's Pakistan Task Team, speaks during a press conference with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan.—AP
Giles Clarke, right, head of International Cricket Council's Pakistan Task Team, speaks during a press conference with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan.—AP

Pakistan has done a significant amount of work on security, a visiting International Cricket Council official said on Saturday.

“There's a considerable amount of perception that needs to be changed, and there's a considerable amount of information that needs to be shared,” Giles Clarke said.

Clarke, who heads the ICC's Pakistan Task Team, didn't say whether he would recommend major teams tour Pakistan for the first time since the deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore.

Making a two-day trip, Clarke met with Pakistan government officials in Lahore, including a 35-minute meeting with chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and other police officials from the province of Punjab.

“We've had a most interesting series of presentations,” Clarke said.

“We've been able to see very significant work ... how security and safety is going to be possible for visiting international cricket teams."

“I am here because the (Pakistan Cricket Board) felt strongly progress has been made.”

The Federation of International Cricket Association (FICA) warned foreign players this month that it was not safe to travel to Pakistan, notably for the final of the domestic Twenty20 league in March in Lahore.

Clarke said he had not talked with FICA.

“I haven't read that statement in full, I was far more interested in coming here for myself before I open that conversation, which will take place,” Clarke said.

Despite FICA's security warning to international players, the PCB was adamant the final will go ahead in Lahore. The rest of the tournament, starting on Feb 7, will be played in the United Arab Emirates, which Pakistan uses as its home for international cricket.

Clarke backs PCB plans

“I am not a security expert, but I do on a personal basis strongly support the PCB's efforts to have their own domestic competition played in Pakistan with a dramatic and exciting final at the Gaddafi Stadium,” Clarke said.

“I completely understand that desire and I would support their efforts to do that, but as I said, I am not a security expert.”

Of the test-playing teams, only Zimbabwe has toured Pakistan, in 2015 for three one-day internationals. They passed without incident.

Clarke said its an ICC objective that all of its full members should host bilateral series in their own countries.

“For us to do that we want everyone to be safe and secure,” Clarke said.

“It's not just the players ... we also want plenty of supporters to come here."

“You haven't had the pleasure of the Barmy Army for a number of years,” he added with a smile, referring to England's supporters.

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Comments (10) Closed



Houlbelat Jan 29, 2017 12:19am

Significant is still insignificant for the purpose.

Hyder Jan 29, 2017 01:26am

National stadium Karachi could be a much safer option than Lahore as it has option to keep the players within the premises and it is securely located near the international airport.

Thanks

IMran Jan 29, 2017 01:24am

Let's see if he helps us guys. But I very much doubt.

Mare Jan 29, 2017 06:51am

Finally, some international support. Pakistan needs to keep pushing its agenda peacefully, diplomatically and respectfully. That is how nations attain good will from foreign countries and progress.

Observer Jan 29, 2017 08:18am

some good news cheers!

Dr. SalariA, Aamsir Ahmad Jan 29, 2017 08:33pm

If that is true then why didn't you tell this to the West Indies cricket board who declined the PCB invitation to visit the "land of the pure" to play two T/20 matches in March 2017?

tomUHTO TAWMAYTO Jan 29, 2017 09:35pm

@Dr. SalariA, Aamsir Ahmad

Hold on tight

ADC Jan 29, 2017 10:18pm

Who is Clarke?

Karani Jan 29, 2017 11:33pm

Seems like Giles Clarke has given a contradictory report to ICC urging caution for playing in Pakistan.

logic Jan 30, 2017 05:55pm

Who forced out cricket out of Pakistan??? and how?? no one will forget.