Karachi: Terming International Cricket Players Association`s suggestion to it member players to keep away from the Pakistan Super League as "unfortunate", former chief executive of the ICC, Haroon Lorgat said the security situation here is different from what the world thinks.
"The FICA statement is unfortunate. It will mean a lot of players will be undecided. It is a negative statement and it does not help our preparations. But fortunately there are others who trust the assurances being given by the PCB," said Lorgat, who is currently working as an advisor to the Pakistan Board on the upcoming PSL.
"I don`t think the statement is against the PSL. It is a statement about safety situation in Pakistan. While we understand this sort of statement from the players association, I don`t think we necessarily agree with it, because the reality on ground after being in Lahore for a fourth occasion in a month, is different," he added.
The PSL is suppose to be held from March 26 to April 7 with five franchises and 30 overseas players, and Lorgat said he was confident that the league would take place as per schedule.
"I understand the situation on ground in Lahore...You speak to the Pakistani players and what the Pakistani captain and team management had to say in South Africa. I think reality is a bit different.
"They know the PCB is determined to do what they want to do. We have to present the other side of the story and there will be independent security agencies assisting the PCB in the league. I am confident the league will happen on time," Lorgat said in a press conference at Lahore today.
Interestingly, Lorgat, while he was the International Cricket Council CEO, had rigid views about the safety and security of players in Pakistan, particularly after the March 2009 militants attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
When a reporter pointed out his change in perception, now that he was associated with the PCB, Lorgat seemed clearly annoyed and he snapped back: "That is your perception. You don`t know what I was doing sitting in the office of ICC CEO."
Lorgat said while PCB understood the response of the FICA, there would not only be independent security help but the government of Punjab will also do everything it can to ensure that the venues are safe for the players.
To a question on why the PCB couldn`t deal directly with FICA and ask them to share their security plan for the PSL, the Chief Operating Officer of the board, Subhan Ahmed clarified that Pakistan didn`t recognise the FICA.
"We don`t recognise FICA. We have no direct communication with them. When we don`t endorse them, how can we have discussions with them. We have no direct relationship with them," Subhan said.