Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lahore Attack Cast Security Doubts on Pakistan

LONDON, March 3: The International Cricket Council (ICC) cast doubt on Tuesday on Pakistan’s hopes of remaining a co-host of the sport’s 2011 World Cup, saying the Lahore attacks had changed the global landscape for the game.

While vowing not to make a “knee-jerk” reaction to the deadly attacks on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat warned that it would be difficult to persuade cricketers to play in Pakistan.

The ICC’s board will discuss the fallout from the attacks and the consequences for the World Cup at a meeting in Dubai in mid-April.

“It’s difficult to... see international cricket being played in Pakistan for the foreseeable future,” Mr Lorgat told a hastily arranged press conference at Lord’s in London.

The World Cup is in theory to be co-hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“We need to guard against a knee-jerk reaction. The World Cup is two years away,” the South African told reporters, but added: “It will be very challenging for us to be convinced that Pakistan is a safe venue.”

ICC President David Morgan vowed that the cricket world, while rocked by the attacks, would continue but he admitted that the events in Lahore would change the security surrounding top-class cricket forever.

“It has completely changed the landscape but it has changed the landscape full stop, not just in the … subcontinent,” Mr Morgan said. He added: “On many occasions we have been told that cricketers would not be targeted in Pakistan. This morning’s events have proved that to be incorrect.

Frm here.

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