ICC's security watchdogs happy with National Stadium of Karachi's arrangements

Published: October 23, 2017
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Representatives from security consultancy firm Eastern Star International, which works with the International Cricket Council, the Federation of International Cricketers Associations and other such bodies, visited the National Stadium of Karachi on Monday to compile their report on the venue’s security arrangements for next year’s Pakistan Super League.

Among the visiting contingent was Reg Dickason, who was shown around the stadium by Pakistan Cricket Board’s head of security Colonel Azam.

The chairman box, VIP enclosures, dressing rooms, umpire room, control room, scoring tower, media center, ground and parking area were the places analysed by Dickason and co.

And the security watchdogs were content with what they saw, revealed a PCB official.

“He [Dickason] was quite convinced after seeing PCB’s preparations and plans,” the official told The Express Tribune. “He also gave his input and suggested some changes, which will be presented to PCB Chairman Najam Sethi in a report. And if the changes are approved by the board, they will be incorporated in the plan.”

Later on in the day, Dickason had meetings with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and IG Sindh AD Khawaja as the planned matches are certain to require heavy deployment of police officers around the stadium.

“I had a very productive meeting with the CM and IG regarding PSL matches to be played in Pakistan, especially in Karachi,” said Dickason during a press briefing. “We were given a full and comprehensive briefing by law enforcement agencies, which was heartening. The meeting with the CM also went well as he showed a lot of support for cricket coming back to Karachi.”

Next up on Dickason’s agenda is to compile a report based on his findings and submit it to the authorities concerned.

“We have taken notes of all the briefings and now will be submitting a detailed report to the PCB and the ICC,” he added.

Dickason and his company were roped in by the PCB in an attempt to regain the world’s confidence in security arrangements in Pakistan.

They were also involved in security arrangements for World XI team’s recent visit to Lahore.

The PCB has been doing all it can to convince international players and top cricketing nations that the security condition in Pakistan has improved dramatically and that it’s safe to visit the cricket-deprived nation.

The Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) season 2 final, held in Lahore earlier this year, was the first step in this direction.

Since then, a World XI side has visited Lahore for a three-match T20I series, while Sri Lanka are expected to do the same for the third T20I, set to be held in Lahore this Sunday.

These instances, coupled with the aforementioned security company’s favourable report, could help a great deal in the staging of some of PSL matches in Karachi next year.

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