ICC to recce Pakistan before SL series

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icclogo.jpg' class='caption'> The ICC said it would carry out an independent security assessment before allowing match officials to travel to a trouble-torn Pakistan.

Updated: December 22, 2008 10:04 IST
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday said it would carry out an independent security assessment before allowing match officials to travel to a trouble-torn Pakistan for their home series against Sri Lanka.

ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said he was sure that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) would review the situation and ensure players' safety.

At the same time, Lorgat asserted, ICC would have to be satisfied with the security scenario in Pakistan before letting match officials travel to the strife-ridden nation.

"I'm convinced that the Sri Lankan board will do everything to ascertain whether it's safe or not and seek assurance from the Pakistan Cricket Board," Lorgat said when asked if he thought SLC was risking the safety of its cricketers by sending them to a country shunned recently by other cricket nations.

"We will do independent assessment of the situation there, for the safety of the match officials. After all we would be supplying the match officials," Lorgat added.

Sri Lanka volunteered to fill in the void created by India's cancellation of Pakistan tour in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Sri Lanka is now set to travel Pakistan for a full series, featuring three Tests, as many ODIs and a Twenty20 match.

Lorgat, meanwhile, sympathised with Pakistan which remains bereft of international cricket and the prospect of hosting the Champions Trophy, originally scheduled last year before being postponed to the next, also looks in doubt.

"I hope international cricket resumes in Pakistan. I would love to see Pakistan playing other teams at home soil. Hope it reverts back to normal there," Lorgat said.

The ICC official announced that the next month's ICC Board meeting would determine the fate of the Champions Trophy.

"Regarding Champions Trophy, we have to see the reality and the Board would determine the fate in its January meeting."

India's tour of Pakistan could have provided us huge inputs for the Champions Trophy but now that it has been cancelled, Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan might provide us that," he said.

Asked if security issues would cast a doubt on the 2011 World Cup to be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Lorgat said there might be some changes in the schedule of the event.

"Obviously we always have a back-up venue, like Australia-New Zealand in this case. But as (ICC) President (David Morgan) said, 2011 is a long way to go and there is no reason to think that the sub-continent cannot host it.

"Maybe we'll have to adjust the schedule to accommodate some concerns," he said.

The South African with Indian roots was quite amused by Graeme Smith and his men's thid.

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