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PCB slams FICA for regarding Pakistan unsafe for cricket

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday slammed FICA (Federation of International Cricketers Association’s (FICA) ) following their advice to international players not to visit Pakistan for the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 in Lahore on March 5, regarding it a disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular.

The PCB has chosen to hold the PSL last in Lahore on March 5 as opposed to holding in Dubai on March 7. All different matches of PSL, in any case, will be held in the UAE.

Be that as it may, on Monday FICA exhorted the players not to go to Pakistan as a result of security dangers regardless of the way that the security circumstance in the nation has imporved as it were.

“FICA has done great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular by advising players not to play in the PSL final in Lahore in March because of “security reasons”, the PCB said through a press statement issued here on Tuesday.

FICA has cited unnamed “expert security consultants” for “updated security advice” that claims Pakistan is “at an extremely elevated state of insecurity.

This is a careless and cavalier approach to an issue of great importance. FICA sits thousands of miles away from Pakistan and cannot name even one credible security expert, yet it makes a sweeping negative statement about the security situation in Lahore,” said the PCB statement.

FICA’s claim that “westerners and luxury hotels have been attacked is contrary to the facts on the ground which prove that not a single foreigner or hotel has been attacked in Lahore in the last five years.

FICA’s claim that “targeted attacks” are predicted to continue is belied by the fact that Lahore is the show piece of the government that has secured the services of UK-based “safe city” security project,” the PCB further stated.

PCB has hosted Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Malaysian cricket teams in Lahore and Karachi without any problem or untoward incident. In the case of holding the PSL final in Lahore for one day, the government has guaranteed protection by over 3000 army and police personnel in Lahore. PCB will provide armored buses for travel along with VVIP security protocols.

It may also be noted that a group of notable foreign players including Jonty Rhodes, Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath, Dean Jones, Mark Butcher, Marvin Atapattu, Herschelle Gibbs, Damien Martyn, Andy Roberts, Danny Morrison, Sanath Jayasuriya, Andrew Symonds, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Smith, Cameron Delport and others are regular visitors to Pakistan on assignments with PTV and are available to vouchsafe the safety and security of foreign cricketers in the country.

PSL has already received confirmation from top international players to play in Lahore and the PCB is determined to bring international cricket back to Pakistan.”

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