Karachi attacks a big setback for Pakistan: PCB

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Old 11-Jun-2014
Arrow Karachi attacks a big setback for Pakistan: PCB

Still struggling to come to grips with the lack of international cricket at home on the back of attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus at Lahore in 2009, the Karachi airport attacks has put paid to any hopes of resumption of international cricket in Pakistan in the near future.

Aided with positive vibes by Ireland and Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Cricket Board were said to be in motion for the return of international cricket at home soil, but the Karachi attacks has now all but dashed any such hopes.

"We were going to sign an agreement with the Ireland cricket body on the sidelines of the ICC executive board meeting in Melbourne this month. They had agreed to come and play three one-day internationals in Lahore in September," a senior official of the board told PTI.

"We had also got positive vibes from Sri Lankan cricket authorities about the invitation we sent them last month to come and play a short one-day series any time this year. But now, after this attack, it would be fair to say these projects appear very dim," the official added.

He said the plan to invite Ireland had been a step forward to bring back some sort of international cricket to Pakistan. No team has toured Pakistan ever since the attacks on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. "The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke had played a part in helping us in this project and convincing Ireland it was safe to play in Pakistan and we would provide them top security. But now it appears everything has gone down the drain," he added.

In recent press statements, PCB chairman Najam Sethi had promised some good news to Pakistan cricketers as well as the supporters and had hinted about steps being taken to bring cricket back to the nation. Another official said the Sri Lankan board had been positive about touring Pakistan for a short series. "Now we have to start afresh and this incident also means that now when we go to the ICC meeting to sign bilateral agreements with different boards for the next five to eight years it will be hard convincing them to keep the option of playing in Pakistan open," the official said.

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