Friday, 6 April 2012
By Muhammad Asif Khan
LAHORE: Ever since the deadly March 3rd 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international cricket events, however the tour of the British Universities’ team is seen as a breath of fresh air and it is hoped that it would go a long way in negating Pakistan’s perception abroad.
Meanwhile, Robert Gallimore, a prominent member of the visiting British team, described the negative impression of Pakistan as unfortunate and urged for a strong counter strategy to diminish the notion. “I think the tragedy is that through a little bit of ignorance the negative impression was allowed to develop and no-one is doing enough to counter it”, said Gallimore while talking to News One TV.
The British Universities’ team is in Pakistan to play a series of limited over games against Pakistan’s Under-19 outfit.
Gallimore, who has also served in British Army, hoped that such tours would transmit positive signals across the World and would educate people about the actual situation in Pakistan.
“Trips like this will act as a small step to educate people. It’s not a case of impression it’s just about educating people how safe it is, how friendly it is and hopefully this will be the first of many British trips over here”, added Gallimore
On a question Gallimore was full of praise for the security and other arrangements made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to facilitate the touring squad.
“We have been looked after fantastically. As security goes, to me we don’t need security in Lahore because Lahore seems like a very safe place”, concludes Gallimore
Since the 2009 attack Afghanistan and Hong Kong are the only international teams to have visited Pakistan.
The writer is a sports journalist in Pakistan, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif