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PCB to lodge Broad protest

Match referee criticised security in Lahore

Broad: slammed security arrangements in wake of Lahore terrorist attack

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are to complain to the International Cricket Council (ICC) about remarks made by match referee Chris Broad criticising security following Tuesday's attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

"Match referee Chris Broad's statement is fabricated. There was no change in the level of security. I will lodge a complaint with the ICC against his statement."

PCB chief Ijaz Butt

Quotes of the week

Gunmen opened fire on vehicles taking the Sri Lankan team and match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan.

Broad, the former England batsman, was acting as the ICC's match referee during the series and was caught up in the crossfire.

Along with umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis, he emerged unscathed from the incident, but six policemen were killed and local umpire Ahsan Raza suffered a bullet wound to his stomach, while seven Sri Lankan players and assistant coach Paul Farbrace also suffered injuries.

Speaking on his return to England at Manchester Airport, Broad attacked the Pakistan security forces which he claimed had left them like "sitting ducks", and also admitted his reservations about how the situation unfolded.

Despite a convoy which included out-riders on motor-bikes and two vehicles full of elite policemen armed with machine guns, the terrorists were able to attack the convoy with relative ease.

The sequence of events led Broad to question how the attack was able to happen - and why the Pakistan bus delayed its departure from the hotel to the ground on that particular morning.

But the PCB are unhappy with the comments and have confirmed they plan to raise the matter with his employer, the ICC.

Fabricated

PCB chief Ijaz Butt, speaking in Hindi at a press conference, said: "Match referee Chris Broad's statement is fabricated.

"There was no change in the level of security. I will lodge a complaint with the ICC against his statement."

Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has also questioned the level of security provided but he too came in for criticism from Butt.

"(Muttiah) Muralitharan's allegations that there weren't any security personnel travelling with the team bus is also untrue," Butt added.

"In fact Muralitharan personally asked me to arrange a meeting with the bus driver and even gave him a shirt.

"This is an unfortunate incident and policemen have lost their lives.

"There is not one, but two high-powered investigations and I think we should refrain from commenting on the incident until the investigative agencies complete their probe."

Butt reiterated that security was the responsibility of the government and that the PCB had not been involved in detailed planning.

"Security is the responsibility of the government and our involvement is limited," he added.

"We have a committee for security and when an international match happens, we have people from our committee interacting with the police and the security agencies.

Specialised task

"We meet with people at the highest level and have a complete discussion and what should be done. Security is a specialised task so we leave it to the security forces.

"This is the practice everywhere in the world and with all the other boards.

"In any case, people who escaped the tragedy without even a scratch should not be pointing fingers at the same security men who died saving them."

Butt agreed that it was unlikely any team would tour in the next six months at least, but remained confident of getting cricket in Pakistan back on track.

"The situation is certainly grim, but we will tackle that in time," he continued.

"In the next six to seven months there isn't any likelihood of any team coming to Pakistan.

"But we will take it up in time. We have been greatly encouraged by the response of the other boards to this incident.

"I received calls from most of the other countries and they said they were sorry about what happened and passed on their good wishes.

"I'm certain that we can persuade them to look at the situation and come back to play in Pakistan."