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PCB must not compromise on players' safety, says Mani

06 January, 2014

KARACHI: Former International Cricket Council (ICC) President Ehsan Mani has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to ensure players' safety before confirming participation in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

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While backing the PCB's stance of raising concerns due to anti-Pakistan sentiments in Bangladesh, Mani felt it would be better to skip the tournament than risk players' security if the volatile situation persisted in the country.

Despite security apprehensions by the PCB, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the International Cricket Council seem keen to hold the two premier tournaments in Bangladesh.

The PCB said it will continue to consult the governing bodies and the Pakistan government before reaching a decision over the Bangladesh tour.

However, Mani said that apart from relying on other stakeholders, the PCB must also do its own security analysis.

"The PCB must send its own security delegation before confirming their participation," the former ICC chief told Our Sources.

"The PCB's case is different from other cricket bodies because there is a lot of agitation against Pakistan in Bangladesh.

"The board should keep players' safety first and take a decision based on that. If the security threats continue then it will not be a wrong decision to withdraw from the tournament."

Mani also hoped the ICC will consider the situation and PCB's concerns ahead of the World T20.

"During my time, the ICC used to consider the concerns of all the boards. I hope this time around the same policy will be followed."

PCB to raise security concerns in ICC meeting

The PCB, after raising security concerns in the ACC meeting in Colombo on Saturday, will seek further clarification at the ICC meeting later this week.

"The PCB is bothered about team's security and it will ensure players safety," said a PCB official. "The issue will be raised further at the ICC meeting on January 9 in Dubai."

The Bangladesh Cricket Board's officials are keeping their fingers crossed over holding the tournaments, hoping the situation to improve after Sunday's elections.

However, according to reports, scores of people have been killed during the elections amid a boycott by the opposition party.

End.