Security lapses of 2009 will not be repeated: PCB chief
The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Shaharyar Khan has said that the PCB will ensure the same security lapses, which were made when the Sri Lankan team was attacked by militants in Lahore in March 2009, are not made for the one-day series against Kenya.
Karachi: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Shaharyar Khan has said that the PCB will ensure the same security lapses, which were made when the Sri Lankan team was attacked by militants in Lahore in March 2009, are not made for the one-day series against Kenya.
Khan admitted that with three days remaining before the Kenya team reaches Lahore, he is apprehensive and nervous over security arrangements for the tour.
"Kenya is the first team to tour Pakistan since that incident although we have hosted Afghanistan a few times. So we know the importance of this tour. We see it as the first door towards eventually convincing other teams to tour Pakistan," Khan was quoted as saying by 'Express newspaper'.
The former foreign diplomat made it clear that what happened with the Sri Lankan team in 2009 would not be allowed to happen again.
"At that time Punjab was under governor rule and there were administrative problems and the police showed gross negligence in providing security to the Sri Lankans. There were major security lapses which led to the incident," he noted.
"But now we have made sure the Kenyan team is provided round the clock state level security because obviously there will always be apprehensions and we want to make sure the tour passes well," he said.
Kenya will play five one-day matches against the Pakistan A side in Lahore from December 12 onwards. The PCB chief said that the attack on the Sri Lankan team had hurt Pakistan cricket badly and till today it was struggling to be financially secure and strong.
"That incident should never have happened and I don't blame the PCB for this, it was the negligence of the police and they have also admitted this in the inquiry that was held after the incident," he said.
Khan said once the Kenyan team tour passes smoothly then Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are also willing to send their under-19 and A teams to Pakistan and fixtures were being chalked out for that.
"I am confident that the security situation will improve further in Pakistan there is already marked improvement despite the attack on the Karachi airport and the bomb blast at Wagah border. Realistically I see Test teams coming to Pakistan in two to three years."
The PCB chief also spoke about relations with the Indian cricket board and said so far next year's series against them was on track and would be held most probably in UAE.
"We have also spoken to them about allowing Pakistani players in the IPL but their cricket board says this decision is for the franchises in the league because they make the investments."
"The feeling I got in discussions with Indian board officials is that while franchises wants some Pakistani players on their payroll they have security apprehensions about inviting them. Hopefully we might see two or three Pakistani players in the next IPL season for a start."