Cricket body back country as security issues reapp
THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has given its backing to Pakistan after issues were raised again over security in the country ahead of the Champions Trophy in September.
The country will play host to the tournament which features the top eight top teams in the ICC one-day rankings.
The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) expressed concern over security issues in the country earlier this month saying the situation in the country had not changed since Australia chose not to tour the country in March.
But the ICC’s acting chief, Dave Richardson, said they were “comfortable” with Pakistan hosting the tournament.
“The security situation anywhere in the world is very fluid, it can change from time to time,” Richardson said.
“At this time we are comfortable with the decision that Pakistan has the ability to host the event and the fact is that we are proceeding with the arrangements.”
He acknowledged the reservations made by the FICA saying the ICC were monitoring the country very closely.
“There may be some players, organisations and member countries who might express some (security) concerns from time to time,” Richardson said. “But what must be remembered is that safety and security of players, teams, officials and spectators is always the concern of the ICC.
“We will be monitoring the (security) situation on a daily basis from now on until the conclusion of the event and those parties who have concerns about the situation would be apprised,” he said.
Australia chose not to tour the country earlier this year following a number of bombings in major cities across the country in the months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
An ICC delegation, including Richardson, are currently in Pakistan and will meet with the Pakistan government and PCB to discuss ranging from venues to security concerns.