Denying a rift between the Asian bloc and the western world, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat believes a misconstrued picture by security experts hired by various boards to assess the situation in Pakistan led to the postponement of the Champions Trophy. Speaking to Business Day, Lorgat said that countries that opted out of playing in Pakistan may look back and "think they made the wrong decision in deciding not to go."
Last month five of the eight participating nations - England, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and West Indies - confirmed during a teleconference that they would not send their teams for the event due to security concerns.
"The problem was that each country had its own security teams involved and they came up with differing views," Lorgat said. "I would like to look at ways of consolidating our security activities, so that there is only one security team involved in assessing these risks. Bob Nichols and his security team, which the ICC uses, are based in Pakistan and they thought the environment was safe enough. But others did not. However, I still believe they might now think they got it wrong."
Lorgat sought to play down talk of a divide in the cricketing world. "I was very wary of this whole thing when I came to Dubai to take up my post. So much had been made of the big divide in cricket that I was prepared to tread very warily," he said. "But since I have been here, I have not seen any sign of it. I have seen India and England take sides on some issues; I have seen England and New Zealand take sides against the others. I honestly do not believe there is this great divide in cricket."
Asked if the ICC was concerned over players influencing decision-making, Lorgat felt cricket's governing body needed to engage with the players more closely. "It is one thing for security teams on the ground in Pakistan to make their assessment but I think it is unfair for players sitting a long way away to make up their minds," he said. "Perhaps we need to get the Federation of International Cricket Associations more involved."