Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday that the proposed tour of the Bangladesh cricket team in April 2012 will help revive international cricket in Pakistan.
“I must appreciate Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf for his efforts to convince international teams to visit Pakistan and provide entertainment to cricket lovers,” he told the media after meeting Chairman PCB to discuss the Bangladesh tour to Pakistan, expected in April, 2012.
Speaking about the security arrangements, Malik said he would provide the touring team with “box security, including bulletproof and bombproof buses which will be cordoned by four more similiar vehicles. There would be zero tolerance regarding the security for both teams, as the government desires foreign teams should visit Pakistan. The situation has improved and we will take all measures to improve it further.”
He added that to ensure coordination on security to touring teams, a new post was being created in the PCB wherein a Deputy Inspector General Police level officer will be appointed as Liaison Officer to plan, coordinate with district security officials.
PCB has been allowed to arrange for two bullet & bomb-proof buses to ensure complete security.
Malik referred to the recent tours by the Chinese hockey team and Indian blind cricket team which took place without any untoward incident.The Minister said that both tours proved that there was no threat to visiting teams.
He said the Bangladesh security delegation is scheduled to visit Pakistan later this month to review the security situation.
Earlier in December, Zaka Ashraf had said that he had briefed Bangladesh Cricket Board officials in Dhaka on a proposed tour.
“We will welcome them with foolproof security arrangements. I am sure that after a successful tour by the Bangladesh team, we will be able to convince more teams to tour Pakistan. We want to bring back cricket to Pakistan.”
Ashraf said that a special PCB committee was working to select the team coach and would announce a name after the England series in UAE.
“Pakistan team is performing well and hoped it will perform well against England in Tests, ODIs, T20s.”
Pakistani cricket has suffered a dearth of international tours to the country since 2009 after an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.