Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has insisted that the security lapse of 2009 will not happen again.
Pakistan have not hosted any international series since the Sri Lankan national team were ambushed by armed militants in Lahore in March 2009.
With Kenya having become the first international team to agree to tour Pakistan, Khan stated that he knows how important this tour will be.
“Kenya is the first team to tour Pakistan since that incident although we have hosted Afghanistan a few times,” Khan was quoted as saying by the Pakistan-based Daily Express newspaper. “So we know the importance of this tour. We see it as the first door towards eventually convincing other teams to tour Pakistan.
“At that time Punjab was under governor rule and there were administrative problems and the police showed gross negligence in providing security to the Sri Lankans. There were major security lapses which led to the incident.
“But now we have made sure the Kenyan team is provided with round the clock state level security because obviously there will always be apprehensions and we want to make sure the tour passes well.”
Kenya are scheduled to play five one-day matches against Pakistan A from December 12 to 20.
Khan also admitted that the attack on the Sri Lankan national team ruined Pakistan’s reputation and reiterated that it will not happen again.
“That incident should never have happened and I don’t blame the PCB for this, it was the negligence of the police and they have also admitted this in the inquiry that was held after the incident,” he said. “I am confident that the security situation will improve further in Pakistan. There is already marked improvement despite the attack on the Karachi airport and the bomb blast at Wagah border. Realistically I see Test teams coming to Pakistan in two to three years.”
Khan also noted that the national team’s series against India in 2015 is more than likely to held in the United Arab Emirates.
“We have also spoken to them about allowing Pakistani players in the IPL but their cricket board says this decision is for the franchises in the league because they make the investments,” Khan added. “The feeling I got in discussions with Indian board officials is that, while franchises wants some Pakistani players on their payroll, they have security apprehensions about inviting them. Hopefully we might see two or three Pakistani players in the next IPL season for a start.”