PCB lashes out at FICA for terming Pakistan unsafe
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has lashed out at the Federation for International Cricketers Association (FICA) for advising players not to tour Pakistan due to an extremely elevated state of insecurity in the country.
FICA said in a statement on Tuesday that players should not play in the final of the Pakistan Super League being planned by the PCB in March.
The PCB has also invited the West Indies Cricket Board to play two T20 international matches in Lahore on March 18 and 19 as part of a programme which will see Pakistan play West Indies play two T20 games in Florida in late March.
"FICA has done great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular by advising players not to play in the PSL Final in Lahore next March because of "security reasons"," the PCB said in a statement.
FICA citing unnamed security consultants termed Pakistan as a unsafe place to play cricket.
"This is a careless and cavalier approach to an issue of great importance. FICA sits thousands of miles away from Pakistan and cannot name even one credible security expert, yet makes a sweeping negative statement about the security situation in Lahore.
FICA’s claim that "westerners and luxury hotels have been attached" is contrary to the facts on the ground that prove that not a single foreigner or hotel has been attached in Lahore in the last five years,” the PCB said.
No top Test team has toured Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore although Pakistan did succeed in getting Zimbabwe to play a short limited over series in Lahore in May, 2015.
The PCB said in response to its invitation to the West Indies, the West Indies board will be sending its cricket operations head, Roland Holder and head of security, Paul Slowe to Lahore later this month to access the security situation in the city.
The PCB has said that the ICC might also send its independent security expert at the same time to review the ground situation.
The PCB also said that a group of foreign players including Jonty Rhodes, Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath, Dean Jones, Mark Butcher, Marvin Attapattu, Herschelle Gibbs, Damien Martyn, Andy Roberts, Danny Morrison, Sanath Jayasuriya, Andrew Symonds, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Smith, Cameron Delport etc are regular visitors to Pakistan on assignment with Pak TV and are available to vouch for the security of foreign cricketers in the country.
Image: Shaharyar Khan