The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has expressed satisfaction with the security arrangements in Pakistan for the Asia Cup next month. "Everything is in order and we are satisfied with the security arrangements made by Pakistan," Ashraful Huq, the ACC chief executive, told AFP. "We hope that the event will be held in a fitting manner."
The Asia Cup will be played between six teams - Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE and Hong Kong - in Karachi and Lahore from June 24 to July 6. Security has been a concern for visiting teams after a state of emergency was imposed in November, followed in December by the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which sparked off violent protests across the country. The ICC women's World Cup Qualifiers were shifted from Pakistan to South Africa and then Australia decided to postpone their tour of the country. But since general elections in February and the forming of a new government, the violence has lessened considerably.
Last week an ICC delegation reportedly left satisfied after inspecting grounds around Pakistan to assess the security situation ahead of the Champions Trophy in September. Pakistan is expected to get the go-ahead for hosting the tournament, with Sri Lanka being the alternative host country, at the ICC board meeting in Dubai on June 29.
The ACC will be commemorating its 25th anniversary during the Asia Cup and Huq said awards to mark the occasion would be given to top Asian cricketers and past and current administrators. A four-member committee has been formed to organise the function.