What’s the story?
In an attempt to revive international cricket in Pakistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has hired a security company for three years. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi confirmed the news and revealed the security company will visit Pakistan either in the last week of August or the first week of September.
"It's a step by the ICC for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. The company is based in three countries - the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates - and has a good repute," the Dawn quoted Najam, as saying.
"A representative of the Federation of International Cricketers (FICA) will accompany the security company to personally monitor the security situation in Lahore," he added.
In case you didn’t know...
Apart from a short limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015, Pakistan have not played cricket at home since 2009, when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked outside Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Since then, other teams have exhibited fear in touring the country.
The heart of the matter
The 69-year-old also revealed that the company’s visit to Pakistan will be for four days, during which it will analyze if Pakistan will be able to provide cent percent security to the visiting teams.
Sethi also mentioned that the security team will visit Pakistan every year, with the ICC paying them US$400,000 for every visit.
Earlier this year, fans turned up in large numbers at the Gaddafi Stadium to watch the final of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League. The game was hosted amidst high security and no casualties were reported.
A World XI will be touring Pakistan in mid-September, which will be followed by Sri Lanka’s visit to the country after eight years for three T20s, one of which will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium.
For all that Pakistan Cricket has achieved in the recent past, it is an excellent move by the ICC to hire a security company to revive cricket in the country. The stadiums in Pakistan, which have been forlorn for eight years now, deserve large crowds who have had to make peace with cheering for their team on the television alone.