Cricket Bodies Unable To Convince Countries To Play In Pakistan Due To Safety Concerns
Pakistan cricket’s plight "has the sympathy of the whole cricketing fraternity, but not all nations are willing to play there despite strong assurances of safety from the Pakistan Cricket Board," according to K.R. Nayar of GULF NEWS. PCB officials "have been constantly knocking on the doors" of the Int'l Cricket Council to urge the nations to play in their country. ICC CEO David Richardson stated that ICC’s role "was limited when it came to bilateral tours and it was up to the PCB to rebuild the confidence in their ability to stage safe matches for players." Richardson said, "Security is not something that is taken lightly by anybody, and making a decision as to whether it’s safe or not involves a serious assessment of the risk" (GULF NEWS, 3/16).
LUCKY NUMBERS: In Wellington, New Zealand, Mark Geentry reported New Zealand Cricket "narrowly avoided a payout of potentially thousands of dollars to rain-soaked Sunday ticket holders" at the Basin Reserve, on a day when the future of its major sponsorship arrangement "was thrown into doubt." Under NZC's ticket refund policy, stated on its website, fans receive a 50% refund on day tickets if between 10 and 29 overs are delivered. Before the rain arrived at the lunch break, exactly 29 overs "had been bowled" (FAIRFAX NEWS, 3/18).
NO MERCY: The PTI reported the ICC has said that "there are no plans to change or reduce the minimum ban of five years imposed on Pakistani pacer Mohammed Aamir who has serving the ban for spot-fixing." Richardson said, "Under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, the minimum ban is five years and at this stage there is no plan to change that minimum sanction" (PTI, 3/17).
ELECTION CONCERNS: PAKISTAN TODAY reported the sports ministry said that "Sri Lanka Cricket's elections may be postponed by as many as 17 days" after a complication with one of the nominees' applications "resulted in a government inquiry to assess whether he can lawfully contest the election." Member of Parliament Thilanga Sumathipala's "possible links to the betting industry and a newspaper business are being investigated, after complaints that his nomination contravened Sri Lanka's sports law" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 3/16).