Pakistan has been the hardest hit on security concerns: David Richardson

Pakistan has been the hardest hit on security concerns: David Richardson

David Richardson
CEO of the International Cricket Council David Richardson. (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images)

ICC chief executive David Richardson opined that the Pakistan cricket team is probably the ‘hardest hit’ cricketing nation from a security point of view. Richardson was in Lahore on Wednesday to present Misbah-ul-Haq with the Test mace as Pakistan became the No.1 ranked team in Test cricket.

Pakistan haven’t hosted any home series against Full Members since the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. Zimbabwe visited Pakistan in 2015 for a three-match limited overs series. During the second ODI on May 29, there was a “suicide attack”, but Zimbabwe went on to play the third ODI.

“The fact is that ICC is keen for everybody to play international cricket, including Pakistan,” Richardson said. “The more teams we can have the better. However, circumstances around the world really have gotten quite difficult, from a security point of view and Pakistan has probably been the hardest hit than any other country. The ICC members have always tried to support Pakistan by making sure that they are willing to play Pakistan in the UAE and elsewhere to keep cricket going at least internationally even though it’s not in Pakistan.”

Richardson said that bringing international cricket against Full nations back to Pakistan is out their control but he is hopeful of a situation where teams are willing to play international cricket in Pakistan. “It’s actually quite easy for you to convince me that international cricket returns to Pakistan, but unfortunately it’s not me or the ICC that needs to be convinced,” Richardson said. “It’s the security experts, it’s the security consultants who are advising the players who are advising the teams and that’s really out of our control.”

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“I know that the Pakistan government and the PCB are doing whatever they can to try and persuade the people and make security situation better in Pakistan. Pretty soon we’ll get to a situation where teams are willing to play international cricket in Pakistan,” added the 57-year old.

Pakistan has suffered a lot financially with the home matches being hosted at UAE, which prompted PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan to suggest the board should receive a “higher percentage of the income” from matches against India at ICC events.

“We take every application seriously on those lines,” he said in reply. “It came late in the day [during ICC annual conference in July] but we will discuss it in the financial committee meeting next month in October and then in the board. ICC members are actually renewing the whole financial model of international cricket at the moment and certainly the PCB’s request will be considered,” he signed-off.