Pakistan unveils bullet-proof buses for cricketers in bid to end boycott

 

Determined to end the boycott of their country by international teams, Pakistan's cricket authorities have announced plans to buy a fleet of armoured buses to protect visiting players against attacks. They will also build a new high-security stadium in the nation's capital.

The world's cricketing nations have avoided Pakistan since a Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by militants in the spring of 2009 in Lahore, an incident in which six policeman and a driver were killed but from which the cricketers somehow escaped largely unscathed.

Instead of being able to host its home matches in the country, it has been obliged to hold them abroad, usually in Dubai.

Officials are determined to convince teams that it is now safe to return and their cause was boosted at the weekend when Pakistan hosted two unofficial 20-over matches in the city of Karachi featuring a number of international stars, including players from South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Those who participated appeared to believe Pakistan, where cricket has tens of millions of hugely enthusiastic fans, was ready to again host international fixtures.

"After these two matches I hope people will believe that Pakistan is a safe country for cricket," Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka, said as he left, according to the Agence France-Presse. "We had two great days with good crowds coming and I am sure that with more efforts international cricket will return to Pakistan. It is unfortunate that the people of Pakistan are not getting international cricket on their grounds, but I am sure they will get it sooner than later."

It is not as though all international teams have refused to play in Pakistan. Last year a visiting team from Afghanistan played three one-day matches against a second-string Pakistani team. But cricket officials want to persuade the big names of cricket that now is the time to return.

It has been reported that Bangladesh may be the first to take up its invitation. Its team had been scheduled to play in Pakistan in April but the tour was called off amid security concerns. They may announce a series of One-Day internationals to be held at the end of the year, according to reports.

The announcement by the Pakistan Cricket Board to purchase the bullet-proof vehicles followed a meeting on Tuesday in the town of Abbottabad, now known around the world as the place where Osama bin Laden was found and killed in May 2011.

"To ensure best security protocols for the international teams, the board unanimously approved the purchase of bullet-proof buses to enable the PCB to achieve higher security measures for the visiting teams," the board said in a statement.

The board also heard an update on the building a new stadium in Islamabad. The stadium will be built with accommodation facilities for the team in order to try and help improve security. "This stadium, when complete, with a capacity of 50,000, will be the biggest cricket stadium in Pakistan," the statement added.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Tutor required for Level 3 Workskills

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Eduction are...

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week