ICC raises concern over security

Karachi, July 7:

The International Cricket Council’s CEO vowed on Sunday not to risk anyone’s safety during September’s Champions Trophy, making his statement the same day a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in Islamabad.

“The ICC will not compromise the safety and security of any individual at one of its tournaments, and if it is not appropriate to play in any country then we will not do so,” Haroon Logart said in a statement.

Sunday’s attack targeted a police station in Islamabad, the capital adjacent to Rawalpindi - one of three Pakistani cities scheduled to stage Champions Trophy matches. Lahore and Karachi are the other cities. The blast was the deadliest in Islamabad in about a year and was the latest attack in Pakistan’s battle against militancy, mainly staged in the northwest tribal regions near Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka has been designated as the alternate site for September’s one-day international tournament - featuring the sport’s top eight teams. A final security report is expected within 10 days to determine if Pakistan is safe to stage the event.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Nasim Ashraf, who attended the ICC meeting, had earlier said that it was a “standard process of the ICC to have a backup venue.” Australian Reg Dickson — hired by the Australia, England and New Zealand cricket boards to assess security measures ahead of September’s tournament — toured Karachi last week.