The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police have reportedly refused to provide security for the upcoming New Zealand cricket series, citing a lack of resources. According to sources within the police department, the police do not have the resources required to provide security, and it is the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) responsibility to ensure that the necessary resources are provided. The sources went on to explain that police personnel are currently occupied with various other tasks, including working at free flour distribution centres, participating in the ongoing census, and other activities related to the holy month of Ramadan.
The New Zealand series is set to begin on April 14 in Lahore, with three matches scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi. The touring team is expected to stay at a hotel in the capital and travel to the Pindi Cricket Stadium for matches. However, the ICT Police’s refusal to provide security has raised concerns over the safety of the visiting team.
This is not the first time that the PCB has faced such a situation. During the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) eighth edition in February, the caretaker Punjab government refused to provide funds for lighting routes in the cities where the matches were set to take place. Following this, PCB Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi reached out to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and the interim government eventually agreed to share the cost of lighting routes.
The PCB has yet to comment on the ICT Police’s refusal to provide security for the New Zealand series. However, given the history of such situations, it is likely that the PCB will work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the necessary resources are provided for the safety of the touring team.
It is worth noting that Pakistan has made significant efforts to bring international cricket back to the country, which has been marred by security concerns since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. In recent years, Pakistan has successfully hosted a number of international cricket matches, including the entire PSL 2020 season, the Zimbabwe and South Africa series, and the Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka series. The upcoming New Zealand series is seen as another important step in bringing international cricket back to the country.