T20 Cricket News

Check out for Latest Cricket News, Specially T20 Cricket News!

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, was in Karachi to launch the World Twenty20 tournament. His visit was the first by a high-ranking ICC official since the terror attacks in Lahore last year that took international cricket away from the country for the forseeable future. Lorgat spoke exclusively to Cricinfo about Pakistan's situation and the ICC taskforce working with the PCB to alleviate the board's plight.

After the Lahore attacks last year, a feeling grew in Pakistan and the PCB that they have been isolated from world cricket, both geographically in terms of tournaments being taken away, and otherwise in ways such as their players missing out on the IPL. How does the ICC deal with something like this?

First of all it is a very unfortunate feeling because it is devoid of any truth. In fact it is quite the reverse. There is a lot of sympathy, a lot of understanding, a lot of acknowledgement that we need to do something to make sure that we support Pakistan during this difficult phase brought on because of environmental factors and nothing to do with cricket. It is very unfortunate but untrue. It is very difficult for me as the ICC to try and portray anything different other than to say that it is not true.

We have put a task team together, we've done everything possible, we've supported Pakistan through decisions we've made. In fact the task team has gone as far as to try and assist in accommodating international fixtures. One thing is very clear in my mind and I think of my own upbringing with South Africa, where there was real isolation and it's absolutely the inverse here.

Just on the IPL issue, Pakistan's players missed out. The ICC says it is a domestic issue but isn't that just deflection? Isn't it a serious concern that the best players of Twenty20 in the world are not playing in the world's most lucrative cricket league. Should the ICC not take an interest in that and can they really do anything about this?

From a regulatory perspective no, but surely when we speak to our friends across all sectors we try to suggest to and influence them to be as transparent and as open-minded about all this, as possible. But in truth those owners decide on who their teams shall or shall not be and we can do no more.

Did it disappoint you?

There is an emotional response and all of us were disappointed that some of the better players - Pakistan after all had just won the World Twenty20 - had missed out. So there is an emotional disappointment. But if you think about it intellectually, some of the rationale behind it, you have to understand, some owners didn't want to maybe go through the difficulty and then you can appreciate the reasoning behind it. Intellectually you can begin to understand why they didn't want to take the risk.

Relations between Pakistan and the ICC deteriorated last year after the World Cup hosting issue and there was the threat of a legal battle. How do things stand now?

If there is a legal battle ensuing then of course relationships are somewhat different, you are a bit more guarded, a bit more careful. But we are all professional, we know how to handle these things, we worked through it, we managed it very well and here we are. We sorted the matter out. We've always said that perhaps Pakistan misunderstood the reasoning behind it, and it wasn't an attempt to strip them of co-hosting, it was just of location. But I think all of that fell into place and began to make sense. I would say currently people have long got over the issue of taking the locations out of Pakistan. We've settled that in August last year, lots has passed since then and people have moved on.

What work has the ICC task force done so far in terms of helping Pakistan?

The task force was set up before the Lahore attacks and after the Champions Trophy 2008 decision. Pakistan accepted the invitation in January 2009 in Perth to work with the task force. Some of the positives you can see now, the benefits. In that task force there is a support to do something. England in particular has seen the opportunity to host Pakistan Tests there. It is a huge benefit to Pakistan. I've always said, I am very clear on one thing, Pakistan must play international cricket. If it cannot play on home soil, that is unfortunate but it should not stop playing international cricket. At best, let's play on neutral venues until things become a bit different in the home environment and we can revisit that prospect of playing at home.

There was talk of a series of world XI games being played against them in Abu Dhabi, Dubai but that hasn't gone far?

It's going to be very difficult. These are all suggestions that are worked on. You know how packed the calendar is. In fact even Pakistan themselves - which is a good thing, an excellent thing - are so jam-packed. Nothing I suspect will happen this year, in terms of that suggestion but it is one of the possible options.

How important is it, with India being such a financial giant, for Pakistan and India to improve ties and be able to play regularly? Is the ICC doing something about that?

You explained the economics of how important it is. From the ICC perspective, it is important that all our members have harmonious relationships. They are all members and we want to ensure that every one of them is working on sound relations with the other.

The World Cup is less than a year away now. Could there be problems with regards to Pakistan playing in India: the final for example is scheduled for Mumbai and a Pakistan side hasn't played there for many years.

I'm not concerned now because at the central organizing committee level we've been very clear in our minds that should Pakistan reach any of the venues they will play at those venues. That includes Mumbai so if they get to the final, they would be very welcome to playing at Wankhede Stadium.

What do you see as the roadmap to cricket returning to Pakistan? 2011 was the earliest the ICC said initially, but realistically when do you see it returning?

There is absolutely no timeline, and it would be irresponsible to suggest timelines and create expectations. We need to take it a day, a week, a month, a year at a time. It is something we must just monitor. This year Pakistan are sorted out in terms of international fixtures. When next year comes around, we must keep an open mind. As we read reports and get reports, we've got security networks in place and we keep monitoring and keep an eye on developments.

Has the ICC looked at its own role as far as security is concerned, maybe at least by standardizing security consultants for all series around the world?

Yes we have. We established a security task force that really got going after Lahore attacks headed by Lord Condon. That task force had put forward seven recommendations which the board has agreed. One of those is a standardization of required safety and security standards. Another recommendation which the PCB has implemented is for each full member to appoint a full-time security manager including at the ICC. That network of security managers will arrange standard protocol measures. Now those measures are being written so hopefully by June we could have something in place.

News Source


0 Response for the "No concerns over Pakistan's WC games in India - Lorgat"

Post a Comment

Share and Bookmarks