No compromise on security this time: Zaka


Pakistan’s cricket chief said on Sunday he hoped the Bangladesh cricket team would tour the country, after the 2009 attacks on Sri Lanka’s side brought international visits to a standstill. The comments from Zaka Ashraf came after a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart in Dhaka, with a tour possible in April next year if the visitors get a security clearance. “It’s a great news and we hope that Bangladesh tour us in April next year after getting security clearance from their government,” said Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He added: “We will provide them with foolproof (security) arrangements.” International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since March 2009 when attacks on the Sri Lankan national team bus in Lahore left eight people dead and wounded seven visiting players and their assistant coach.
Foreign teams have stayed away from touring Pakistan citing security fears, with Bangladesh becoming the first Test nation to play cricket in the troubled country in three years should the visit materialise. Ashraf, who took over as Pakistan’s top cricket official in October, said the proposed visit would pave the way for more teams to play in Pakistan. “I am sure after a successful tour by the Bangladesh team we will be able to convince more teams to tour Pakistan,” he said. Ashraf also said the country was more stable now, declaring its turbulent period was “over.” “All those things that you must have seen, they are over now. That’s why we want to reorganise cricket, bring back cricket to Pakistan. Fans are also being deprived of this game,” he said. Ashraf also announced the endorsement of Mustafa Kamal, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, as the two countries’ joint nominee for the vice president’s post at the International Cricket Council (ICC). If approved by the ICC’s executive board, Kamal would take over as the international body’s vice president in 2012 and, under rotation rules, its president in 2014.