'VVIP' security for international cricketers in Pakistan: Rehman Malik

In 2009, the Sri Lankan team were attacked on their way to Gaddafi stadium in Lahore Getty Images

Islamabad: Jan 6, 2012

Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik has given permission to the Pakistan Cricket Board to purchase two bomb-proof buses as part of the plan to provide enhanced security for the proposed tour by Bangladesh this year.

“We will be providing VVIP security to the teams including Bangladesh. We will give them foolproof security because we want international cricket to be revived in Pakistan,” Malik told reporters after a meeting with the PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad.

Malik said the Bangladesh team would be given “box security” with bullet proof and bomb-proof vehicles and police commandoes escorting them everywhere.

“I must appreciate the efforts being made by Zaka Ashraf to convince teams to tour Pakistan again and we will provide full support to the PCB in this direction,” he said.

Foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan since 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team while they were on their way from their hotel to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

The attack left six Pakistani policemen and a van driver dead and wounded five Sri Lankan players. Since then foreign teams have refused to play in Pakistan.

Zaka Ashraf, during a recent visit to Dhaka, invited the Bangladesh Cricket Board to send their team to Pakistan in April to play a scheduled FTP Test series.

The BCB will be sending a security delegation to Pakistan later this month for a review before a final decision is made on whether they will tour Pakistan.

“With regard to security to both the teams there would be a zero tolerance, as the government desires that the foreign teams should visit Pakistan. This is fact that the situation has improved and we will take all measures to improve it further,” the interior minister said. (PTI)