Is Pakistan ready to host again?

A promise regarding security arrangements for a tour from our government is hardly trustworthy.

Bilal Ahmad January 28, 2012
In 2009 when the Sri Lankan team arrived in Lahore, much was said about their security, or the lack of it, after armed men were able to ambush their vehicle with ease. At the time of their arrival at the airport, the security protocol suggested that improvement was needed. But at that point the most worrying aspect was being hoarded by fans’ excitement or the media.

Few thought a gun attack was in the making that would cause casualties and injuries.

But it happened and, despite ‘intelligent’ reports, a targeted and planned attack was to take away international cricket and the hosting rights of the World Cup. Since then, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has fought and begged to bring back Test-playing nations to the country.

Failing to do so, since the government never seems to manage a grip on the security situation given that it’s not on its priority list – they have enough personal issues of their own – desperate times called for pretty desperate measures.

The newly-appointed PCB struck a deal with Bangladesh – and given our big hearts and a historic tendency to strike deals at every meeting – to back their nomination as president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and in return, arrange a cricket tour of Pakistan. As hopes revived for the return of international cricket, minor details are still being ignored.

The ministry has assured ‘fool-proof’ security, provided a visit by a Bangladesh security team – which is yet to be finalised – approves of the situation. The return of international cricket can still not be assured since teams like Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka – if they overcome their 2009 trauma – would still be hesitant.

We’ve already seen the dedication of extremist groups and slackness of our security agencies. A promise, that too from our government already facing uncertainty over its own future, is hardly trustworthy especially since by the time a tour is arranged, changes at the helm could have taken place.

While I hope a miracle can persuade the return of top-flight international cricket to Pakistan – the public and venues badly need it – a lot of dedication by a lot of individuals would be required.

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Bilal Ahmad Designation: Sub-Editor English Paper Department: Business
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Aasim | 12 years ago | Reply @ Tribune Reader I still do not think, that the Attack on the Sri Lankan team was a coincidence, the timing of it, makes it very suspicious. Who benefited the most from that attack, no prizes for guessing. I agree to your thoughts and very much believe in the same. But my dear the fact is when you know that your enemy is hunting you down big time, and is ready to drain the last drop of blood from your body, you keep yourself prepared. Our security forces lacked preperation, and didnt just lacked preperation, they screwed it big time. I dont think we should make haste in bringing International Cricket to Pakistan, but instead we should wait and make sure that we are fully prepared to host the game. If we mess it the second time, then there aint be any 3rd chance, and International Cricket will be gone forever..
sars | 12 years ago | Reply Actually even before security issues made it impossible , most teams hated to tour Pakistan. Now why would any team (not made up of suicidal players) risk their lives to play cricket when they dont have to. Until security is not guaranteed for the common man, no team should play here. If that is incentive for us to clean up the mess we have become so be it
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