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Conspiracy readied against restoration of cricket in Pakistan
Conspiracy readied against restoration of cricket in Pakistan
Published at: 2 year(s) ago
LAHORE: Another conspiracy has been readied to forestall the restoration of international cricket in Pakistan as the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations issued a report that strongly proposes to overseas players to decline to participate in the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) final due to concerns over player safety.

In its report, the FICA was of the view that the risk level in Pakistan remains “at an extremely elevated state” and that “an acceptable level of participant security and safety cannot be expected or guaranteed.”

However, the PSL organizers vowed the final of the event will be held in Lahore on March 7, as planned, whether overseas players take part or not. If they decline to travel, they will be replaced by players from Pakistan.

It should be mentioned here that all earlier matches in the tournament will be played in the UAE.

Though the FICA has no such power as to prevent players from travelling, its report may impact the decision of some national boards and domestic teams to decline to issue No Objection Certificates to their players.

To compound the severity of its warning, the FICA also warned players to “check their insurance coverage” with the suggestion being that it could be invalidated by travelling to Pakistan.

The report, which FICA says is based on “updated security advice we have received” from its “expert security consultants” states that: “Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist attacks across the country and Westerners have in the past been directly targeted and killed in Pakistan. Indiscriminate and targeted attacks are likely to continue, and expert advice is consistent with all Government Agencies and Diplomatic Missions, who generally advise to reconsider the need to travel.”

It goes on to state: “There have been attacks at sporting events, which have had significant security overlay in the past, and terrorist groups in Pakistan have demonstrated the intent and capability to launch attacks anywhere in the country. Locations including luxury hotels are also at high risk of being targeted by militant groups.

“The historic use of suicide bombers, the willingness of terrorist groups to attack armed police and police protected sporting events, the capability of such groups and the intent, suggests that the risk associated with the running of an international sporting event are problematic at present.

“Whilst the opportunity for attack on international sporting events and competitors in Pakistan can be mitigated to a certain extent by the implementation of an extremely robust security plan, the current advice is that external security environmental factors keep the risk level in Pakistan at an extremely elevated state, where an acceptable level of participant security and safety cannot be expected or guaranteed, even with an extremely robust security plan.” The report concludes: “Players participating in this event do so as individuals and at their own risk.”
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