THE cricket world was united in shock, said ICCPresident David Morgan (pictured) in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team and playing control team of match officials in Lahore yesterday. Speaking last night in London, Mr Morgan said that it was a dark and shocking day for cricket and for mankind but that the game would come through it.
’It is a shocking situation and we extend our sympathy to the relatives of those that lost their lives as a result of this horrific crime,’ said Morgan.
’We have been in contact with our friends and colleagues in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world and we feel for the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in particular, at this extremely difficult time.
’The world is a dangerous place and cricket must and will go on. It is a great game and a source of great solace to so many people,’ he said.
Commenting on the security in place for this bilateral series in Pakistan, Mr Morgan pointed out that the ICC only became involved in that assessment process if there was disagreement beteen the teams or if asked to do so.
’The responsibility of assessing and ensuring safety and security for bilateral series lies with the respective Member Boards. In this case, both sides were satisfied with the arrangements in place,’ said Morgan.
’It’s very sad for cricket in Pakistan and for the millions of cricket lovers in that country. At this stage it is far too early to start speculating on the future of international cricket in Pakistan but the immediate future looks bleak. But situations can and do change. There are parts of the world that are relatively safe today that were considered very dangerous so we must not lose hope.’
ICCCEO Haroon Lorgat said that the attack would change the way the cricketing world viewed security.
’This is the first time a cricket team has been targeted in this way and it has changed the landscape of how cricket boards will assess security for cricket series and events,’ said Mr Lorgat who added that the matter would be discussed as a matter of priority at ICCBoard level, a body that is made up of directors from each of the 10 Full Members of the ICC and three Associate representatives.
Lorgat added: ’At this stage, Pakistan is scheduled to supply venues for the CWC 2011 and only the Board can change that decision. I do not want to speculate on what that decision might be or make a knee-jerk reaction but certainly this attack will have to be taken into consideration when assessing the security situation for that event.
’Even if Pakistan is considered unsafe, cricket in that country must not be allowed to suffer unduly because of this. It is better that Pakistan plays its home fixtures at neutral venues rather than not at all.
’In relation specifically to ICCevents scheduled to take place in other parts of the world, the ICC conducts extensive safety and security asessments for venues at all its events. While the ICC can never give a 100 per cent guarantee, we have confidence in the independent security experts we have advising us and that appropriate and effective security measures are in place for all ICCevents.’ added Mr Lorgat.
Picture courtesy of Getty Images