ICC task force head hopeful about return of international cricket to Pakistan

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LAHORE, Jan 28 (APP): The head of International Cricket Council’s
Task force on Pakistan, Giles Clarke has expressed the hope regarding return of international cricket to Pakistan saying ICC value the efforts being made by Pakistani authorizes in this regard.
“I am here on a fact finding mission and I have been asked by the
ICC Chairman and Security Advisors to ascertain the facts about the
present situation in Pakistan”, he said this while addressing a news conference here on Sunday at Gadaafi stadium along with Chairman, PCB, Shaharyar M khan and Chairman of the PCB executive committee, Najam Sathi.
Giles Clarke said ICC was fully was of the frustration of the
Pakistani fans that its teeam was playing its home series at natural
venues for quite a long time due to security concerns at home as the bilateral cricket series are of greater significance and create the opportunity for the home fans to watch cricket in their own arenas.
“We regarded this very important and we want to do we can to help create a situation where international cricket can come back to Pakistan to have the opportunity to see their heroes in action ô,he asserted.
He praised the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister and his personal interest to take drastic measures for the safety and security of the foreign teams and he was quite impressed with the presentation and
measures being taken for the protection of the teams.
“We had series of presentations regarding security and Lahore safe city project during out interaction with the representatives of law enforcement agencies and we have been able to see that very significant work has been invested and invested very wisely not only for the security of the foreign team and the general public ô, said the task force chief.
“We are hoping to move forward very constructively but one terrorists act can put these things back ô, Giles Clarke asserted.
He said he had a very productive meeting with Punjab Chief Minister who assured his full support regarding return of international cricket to Pakistan by highlighting the measures being taken for the safety and security of the visiting teams.
“I am grateful to PCB for all the hard work they have put in, I am impressed with the work being done in the safe city project for the protection of its own citizens ô,he maintained.
The head of the ICC Task Force said it is not a easy world and greater efforts are needs to bring international cricket to Pakistan but acknowledged the efforts of the Pakistani authorities for taking confidence building measures and putting in lot of hard work to convince teams to visit Pakistan.
Answering a question he said PSL is a domestic competition and PCB
is planning to hold its final in Lahore and he personally strongly supports it that it may take place at Gadaffi stadium.
He it was an unfortunate incident that when a terrorists attack targeted Sri Lankan cricketers bus in 2009 and since then the authorities in Pakistan, specially the Chief Minister Punjab are contributing good number of efforts to improve the situation.
To a question he said bilateral series are the individual playing relations between the countries and IFF does not interfere in it but ICC ensures that such series are being played under top security cover.
Chairman PCB, said the visit of the Giles Clarke is of greater significance to personally see the measures and efforts being made for the security and protection of the foreign teams.
“PCB with the cooperation of the Government is taking all the measures to ensure the return of international cricket to Pakistan and it is good to see that ICC value our efforts in this regard”,he said.
Najam Sathi said Giles Clarke has been given briefings on all the impoartant matters including security and financial aspects of the PCB .
“We hope Giles Clarke will use his good offices to move things forward”, he said.