The International Cricket Council (ICC) General Manager of Cricket David Richardson feels the prospects of international cricket returning to Pakistan depends on the country’s cricket governing body and the government’s effort in restoring confidence of foreign teams.
Richardson, a former South Arica Test cricketer, said that convincing international teams to tour Pakistan does not fall under the ICC’s domain and the onus was on the Pakistani authorities to encourage countries to tour by taking positive measures.
Pakistan have been deprived of hosting international cricket since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009. In the attack’s aftermath, the country lost hosting rights of various series as well as the World Cup.
“The ICC wants international cricket to return to Pakistan as soon as possible but it is not up to us to give confidence to teams,” said Richardson who was visiting Karachi to watch the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy final. “It is the responsibility of the PCB and the Pakistan government to restore confidence of foreign teams. The PCB should launch an initiative by inviting junior and domestic teams.”
The official warned that the process would take time and Pakistan should take it as an opportunity and focus on improving its domestic structure.
‘ICC not interfering in PCB matters’
Richardson also rejected the notion that the governing body is interfering in the internal matters of the PCB, including team selection.
“It is not in the ICC’s constitution to interfere in the matters of any member boards. The body only assists the member countries during difficult situations.”
The ICC is allegedly dictating the terms of selection of Pakistan teams since the spot-fixing scandal.
‘Impressive domestic standards’
Richardson was also impressed with Pakistan’s domestic structure saying it is equivalent to any other domestic pattern in the world.
“I have had experience with the South Africa domestic and county structure, and Pakistan domestic standards are no less.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2011.