ISLAMABAD: The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) Wednesday responded to Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) statement and said it did not advise players not to participate in Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore.
In a statement issued by the PCB on Tuesday, it criticised FICA for its alleged “careless and cavalier approach” to security matters relating to playing of the PSL final in Lahore and stated that FICA had done a great disservice to the cause of cricket in general and Pakistan cricket.
FICA said it relied on advice given by highly credible specialist security consultants, Eastern Star International (ESI), about safety risks to players and teams who may contemplate playing in what may be considered high-risk cricket environments.
“ESI has supplied security services over several years to some cricket boards and international teams around the world and the International Cricket Council (ICC),” FICA said.
FICA had obtained advice from the ESI related to security risks to cricketers playing in the PSL final. FICA’s memorandum to players and player agents accordingly did not advise players not to participate in the PSL final in Lahore but informed players that they should do at their risk and that players should check any insurance cover that may apply.
“Players around the world from affiliated countries have always looked to FICA to provide them with information relating to security risks of playing in various parts of the world”, Tony Irish, FICA’s Executive Chairman said.
“It is our responsibility to provide this information, which we obtain from highly credible security experts so that players can make informed decisions.”
“We have great sympathy for fans and players in Pakistan who have not been able to consistently watch international teams and high-quality foreign players playing cricket in their country for several years.
FICA has no vested interest in this matter and is entirely independent of the PSL. We consider the PSL an excellent opportunity for players and we would like to see it succeed. However the safety and security of players are, and will continue to be, a high priority matter for FICA,” he said.