PCB officials try to clear way for West Indies tour of Pakistan

PCB officials try to clear way for West Indies tour of Pakistan

KARACHI: A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will meet with representatives of the Eastern Star International Security Company later this month in a bid to clear the way for West Indies to tour Pakistan for a two or three match T20 series in March.
Najam Sethi, who heads PCB’s executive committee, said in an interview that he would be meeting with the Eastern Star officials in 10 to 15 days time as they had given a report based on which the Federation of International Cricketers (FICA) had advised its members not to tour Pakistan for the Pakistan Super League final or any other event.
“After the FICA advisory came out we investigated on what basis they had given such an advice and we found out their security advisors were Eastern Star Security,” Sethi said.
“The company is a international company which works primarily in international sports and they provide advice to some cricket board including ICC, Australia, New Zealand, England and players associations of these countries, South Africa and FICA,” he said.
“We just want to know on what basis they have given their advisory about security in Pakistan when none of their representatives came to Pakistan to see the ground reality.
“I will be meeting their officials to let them know about the factual position and the improvement in the security situation in Pakistan which is why we are also trying to bring back international cricket to the country,” he said.
Sethi, a former Chairman of the board, said he would update them on the security arrangements put in place by the PCB to encourage teams to tour Pakistan.
“At this time we are going ahead with our plans to hold the PSL final in Lahore and we have made arrangements for a second draft if the foreign players in the teams which qualify for the final are not willing to come to Pakistan,” he said.
Sethi said talks were also still on with the West Indies cricket board over a proposal to have West Indies play atleast two T20 matches in Lahore in March.
“We have told them that they can keep all the revenues and earnings from the two T20 matches that they have invited us to play in Florida before we go to the West Indies. We have also told them we will keep all the revenues generated from the matches they come and play in Pakistan,” Sethi added.
He said the West Indies board had told them that their players association was in touch with FICA which had advised them not to play in Pakistan.
“That is why we want to meet with the security company that provides insight to FICA to clear the situation.”
The PCB official also made it clear that around 25 foreign players had shown their willingness to play in Pakistan if their franchises qualify for the PSL final on March 5th in Lahore.
No leading Test team has toured Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009. Since than only Zimbabwe toured Lahore last May to play a short limited over series while Pakistan has managed to invite Afghanistan and Kenya to play in the country.

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