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Sunday, May 15, 2011


No plans to provide top security to Afghan Cricket team touring Pakistan

Refusing to learn from past mistakes, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) seems to be in no mood to provideAfghanistan’s national cricket team with state level security for their upcoming tour of the terror hit country, starting from May 24, 2011.
Talking to newsmen, an official of the PCB said, “It’s not a big series. We’re in touch with the local administrations and they’ve assured to provide security. The Afghanistan players are visiting Pakistan regularly to play local tournaments. We are not denying the importance of security but the security provided by local administrations would be enough.”
Afghanistan will be the first country to tour Pakistan after the 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, after which International teams declined any series in Pakistan.
The terror attacks injured seven Sri Lankan players while claiming the lives of eight Pakistanis. The tourists managed to escape from the jaws of death by the exceptional effort of the driver who drove the Lankan bus out from the danger zone.
The series was immediately called off and the Sri Lankans were flown back to their native country.
This debacle pressed the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip Pakistan off their hosting rights of the ICC world cup 2011, which was supposed to be jointly hosted by PakistanIndiaSri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Currently Pakistan has to play home events in a third country and so far the PCB has used England and theUnited Arab Emirates as venues for tournaments against other countries.
After nearly three years, with the arrival of the Afghan cricket team, International cricket will finally resume in Pakistan.
However, according to the current stance of the PCB, there is every possibility of another terrorist attack on the touring team which will be an international catastrophe for the country and might extend boycott from other teams to tour Pakistan.
The Afghan team is scheduled to play three One Day International matches against Pakistan ‘A’ in the cities of Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad.
Abbotabad has become a suspected place after the world’s most wanted fugitive Osama bin Ladin was killed in a raid by US forces last week.
Playing an international event in such a location may attract unwanted attention and it is imperative for the PCB to provide the touring Afghan side with optimum security if they want to avert a disaster. 
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