FICA, Giles Clarke term Sri Lanka tour a positive step for Pakistan cricket

Updated October 12, 2019

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The smooth and successful organisation of the one-day and Twenty20 internationals’ series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore recently has drawn positive, encouraging vibes from the cricketing world regarding the security situation in Pakistan. — AFP/File
The smooth and successful organisation of the one-day and Twenty20 internationals’ series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore recently has drawn positive, encouraging vibes from the cricketing world regarding the security situation in Pakistan. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The smooth and successful organisation of the one-day and Twenty20 internationals’ series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore recently has drawn positive, encouraging vibes from the cricketing world regarding the security situation in Pakistan.

Besides receiving appreciation from the cricket playing nations, the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) — an important forum — has also termed the incident-free staging of the Pak-SL series a positive development for Pakistan cricket.

Talking to this correspondent, executive chairman of FICA, Tony Irish said the future course will be decided by relevant quarters after due process.

“It is positive that the SL series was held smoothly and without any security problems. The FICA is generally supportive of cricket returning to Pakistan,” Irish said.

To a question, regarding future bilateral engagements in Pakistan, Irish was of the opinion that each tour needs to be re-assessed from the security point of view. “The re-assessment (of security arrangements) is to ensure that the risk remains manageable and that appropriate security plans are in place to deal with the risks. There is nothing more important than the safety of teams and players,” concluded Irish, who is set to take over as head of the English Players Association in January.

Meanwhile, Giles Clarke, one of the architects of the 2017 World XI tour to Pakistan and former president England and Wales Cricket Board, also hoped that Sri Lanka’s successful tour to Pakistan would lead to more international teams playing in Pakistan.

Talking to this correspondent, Clarke said that since he was no more involved in the ECB affairs therefore he could not comment on the possibility of England team touring Pakistan in the near future. He, however, expressed confidence in PCB’s efforts in this regard.

“Like all cricket lovers, I hope that in due course of time, all teams will be able to tour (Pakistan). I am sure the PCB is doing everything in its power to restore their confidence,” said Clarke.

It is pertinent to mention here that Clarke was the chairman of the Pakistan Task team, constituted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2009 for the gradual return of international cricket to Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2019