KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board has rejected the report issued by Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) which questioned the security arrangements in Pakistan for the PSL final.
FICA, in a report issued on Monday, stated that safety for PSL final cannot be guaranteed and discouraged international players from visiting Pakistan for the PSL final.
The PCB has termed the FICA report as “great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular.”
“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 the statement issued on Tuesday.
The PCB statement has also highlighted the fact that FICA has cited unnamed expert security consultants for updated security advice that claims Pakistan is at an extremely elevated state of insecurity.
“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,” said the PCB
“FICA’s claim that “westerners and luxury hotels have been attacked” is contrary to the facts on the ground that prove that not a single foreigner or hotel has been attacked in Lahore in the last five years,” the PCB highlighted.
The PCB has also rejected FICA’s claim that “targeted attacks” are predicted to continue, saying that the claim is belied by the fact that Lahore is the showpiece of the government that has secured the services of UK-based “safe city” security project.
“Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist attacks across the country and Westerners have in the past been directly targeted and killed in Pakistan. Indiscriminate and targeted attacks are likely to continue, and expert advice is consistent with all Government Agencies and Diplomatic Missions, who generally advise reconsidering the need to travel,” the FICA had said.
The PCB statement adds that for the PSL Final in Lahore, the government has guaranteed protection by over 3000 army and police personnel in Lahore. PCB will provide armoured buses for travel along with VVIP security protocols.
“PSL has already received confirmation from top international players to play in Lahore and PCB is determined to bring cricket home to Pakistan,” the statement said.