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ICC needs to take responsibility for security of women’s team: Zaka Ashraf

Zaka Ashraf

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf said that the board was in touch with ICC to sort out issues regarding the security of Pakistan women’s cricket team © AFP

Karachi: Jan 22, 2013

The chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf has said that security of the national women’s team in the World Cup in India remained the responsibility of the ICC.

A worried Ashraf told reporters in Gujranwala on Tuesday that the board was in touch with the ICC on daily basis over the security issues facing the team ahead of the World Cup.

The ICC has moved Pakistan’s pool matches from Mumbai to Cuttack after some political parties in India made it clear they wouldn’t allow the Pakistani players to play in Mumbai.

But even after moving the Pakistan team matches to Odisha, the protests have continued in parts of India, including Cuttack, leaving the PCB worried for the safety of its players.

“We have been asking the ICC about the situation on daily basis and have asked them whether the security of our players will be satisfactory in Cuttack. The ICC has told us they are monitoring the situation and will update us accordingly in a day or two,” Ashraf said.

The PCB chief said Pakistan had no problem playing in India or sending its team to India.

“But I think in this case where our women cricketers are involved it is the responsibility of the ICC to see they are safe and their security is good. At the moment we are satisfied but we are also monitoring closely.”

Ashraf said that India needed to keep sports and politics apart.

“Our men’s team toured India recently and there were no issues at all with the security. So these recent developments are a bit disturbing for us. We had also suggested that the ICC can also look at option of moving the tournament to some other venue,” he said.

Ashraf said Pakistan wanted good cricket relations with India and believed that India should tour Pakistan for a full series.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has said that it can’t send its team to Pakistan until the security situation improves in Pakistan and also ruled out playing Pakistan at any neutral venue.

Pakistan is eying an open window in August to play a ‘home’ series against India.

Ashraf also made it clear that the board was continuing its efforts to revive international cricket in the country.

“That is why the organisation of the Super League T20 is so important for us. There is no doubt that the league will be held on schedule as whatever the political scenario our job is to provide cricket and entertainment to the people,” he said.

The PCB has announced the super league would begin from March 26. Ashraf also insisted that his aim was to keep cricket out of politics.

“That is why I am pretty confident that our team will surprise us in the coming Test series in South Africa,” he added.

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