ICC may agree to local match officials in Pakistan

- www.ft.lk

DUBAI (Reuters): The International Cricket Council (ICC) may waive its requirement for neutral match officials in a proposed one-day international series between Pakistan and Bangladesh next month.
The three matches, which are subject to agreement by Bangladesh, would take place in Karachi and Lahore from 16 to 26 April.
The matches would be the first full internationals in Pakistan since March 2009 when the Sri Lanka squad and match officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore.

“In the event of the participating countries deciding that the tour should proceed and the ICC determining that it was unsafe to appoint match officials to the tour, a special dispensation to allow non-neutral match officials to participate in the matches would be required from the ICC Board,” the ICC said in a statement on Tuesday following a meeting of its Chief Executives’ Committee in Dubai.
“The CEC agreed to recommend to the ICC Board that, from a cricket perspective only, the granting of the special dispensation would be justified.”
Under the ICC’s standard playing conditions for one-day internationals, one of the two on-field umpires and the match referee must be drawn from countries not taking part in a match.
In order to be granted dispensation to appoint local officials, the Pakistan Cricket Board would be required to write to the ICC Board requesting approval.
A delegation from Bangladesh has undertaken an assessment of the security situation in the two cities where matches would be hosted and has passed its findings to the Bangladesh government which will make the final decision, expected in the next week, on whether its cricket team will undertake the tour.
“It is important the tour goes ahead for Pakistan cricket to show the country can host games again,” Subhan Ahmad, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Chief Operating Officer, told Reuters. “We will have the highest level of security possible.”
The CEC meeting recommended that the maximum number of Twenty20 Internationals allowed to be played by any international side in a calendar year should be increased from 12 to 15 in a year which featured an ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
It also recommended that the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh should feature 16 (instead of 14) men’s teams and that the tournament should continue to be a joint men’s and women’s event.

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