New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) may allow local match officials for Bangladesh's proposed tour of strife-torn Pakistan because it feels appointing "non-neutral match officials" may still be unsafe.
Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international teams since the attack on Sri Lankan team by gunmen in 2009 in Lahore. Bangladesh will be the first team to travel to Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan team. The three-match ODI series would take place in Karachi and Lahore April 16-26.
The ICC during its Chief Executive Committee's (CEC) meeting introduced a "special dispensation" to be made only in "exceptional circumstances" in order to ensure that the bilateral series between Bangladesh and Pakistan takes place even if it is "unsafe" to appoint its officials for such series.
This would allow the ICC to appoint "non-neutral match officials", a departure from the ICC's Standard Playing Conditions, pending permission from the ICC's Executive Board.
"Bearing in mind that safety and security is the sole responsibility of individual Member Board's for bilateral matches, the CEC regarded this as an exceptional circumstance in which the appointment to matches of non-neutral match officials could be justified but stated clearly that it should not to be regarded as a preferred option or precedent if the dispensation were to be granted," said Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive.
The CEC recognised that the ICC Board had determined that a decision as to whether a particular tour should take place or not is one for the participating countries and the ICC's role was limited to considering the safety and security of the match officials after a tour had been confirmed and a security plan produced.
The CEC also noted that in the event of the participating countries deciding that the tour should proceed and the ICC determining that it was unsafe to appoint match officials to the tour, a special dispensation to depart from the Standard Playing Conditions to allow non-neutral match officials to participate in the matches would be required from the ICC Board.
While acknowledging that the granting of such dispensation must involve a wide range of important considerations, the CEC agreed to recommend to the ICC Board that, from a cricket perspective only, the granting of the special dispensation would be justified.