Giles Clarke President of the England and Wales Cricket Board and Chairman of the ICC’s Pakistan Task Force has cautioned that bringing international cricket back to Pakistan will be a difficult process requiring a lot of time and hard work.
Clarke arrived in Lahore on Saturday his first visit to the country as head of the Pakistan Task Force on a fact-finding mission to examine security planning that can be put in place for visiting teams. During his visit, Clarke met with senior officials of the Punjab government, including the chief minister and the Home Secretary.
Addressing a press conference at the National Cricket Academy at the Gaddafi Stadium Clarke praised Punjab’s government for significant investment in safety and security arrangements for potential touring aides. He was quick to point out, however, that these clarifications were not to serve as a replacement for expert advice.
I have to receive a proper report from my experts,” Clarke said. But speaking as a non-expert, I was deeply impressed by the size of the investment, and the passion of everyone I have met from the chief minister downwards, the desire and determination to see international cricket return to Lahore was absolutely there. It is a goal of the ICC that every Full Member plays international two-sided cricket in their own country. But for us to do that, we need everyone to be safe and secure.
Clarke said. We all know one terrible incident can push things backward again. What happened here in one of Lahore’s parks did make it impossible for us to send a team here last year. So we are hoping to move forward, but this is not an easy road.
There is a considerable amount of view that needs to be changed around Pakistan being an insecure country and information that needs to be shared. But I am most impressed by the efforts of the authorities to make Lahore a safe city.
Clarke, who has been on the Pakistan Task Force since it was set up in the aftermath of the Lahore terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009, praised Zimbabwe for coming to Pakistan in 2015 to play two T20s and three ODIs, and said it was a very well organized tour. We want to build on that and move forward in a sensible and measured fashion. Even that tour, however, was the target of an attempted attack.
(PSL 2017) final would take place in Lahore, whether or not international players traveled to Pakistan. Clarke expressed strong support for the PCB’s actions to hold the final of their own domestic competition in Pakistan.I completely understand that desire and will support their efforts to do that.