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.

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
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

MI Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – £25k-£35k

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Head of Ad Sales - UK Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global mul...

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album