Pakistan cannot be deprived of cricket: ICC chief

SYDNEY: The attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan have shown that athletes could be a target anywhere in the world, therefore, Pakistan cannot be deprived of cricket, the International Cricket Council chief executive said Sunday.

Haroon Lorgat also said the attack by a small group of heavily armed men on the convoy taking the Sri Lankan team to the ground in Lahore last week had changed the sporting landscape for good.

"I think anywhere in the world is a target, it is a question of degree and we will do assessments of all our venues," he told reporters in Sydney. "I don''t think any particular country is spared."

Pakistani police have rounded up scores of suspects but have yet to announce a breakthrough in their investigation of last Tuesday''s attack in which seven Pakistanis -- six policemen and the driver of a bus carrying the match officials -- were killed.

Six Sri Lankan players and two team officials were wounded in the attack.

"We are all aware of how that is likely to change the landscape on security assessments going forward and the kind of threat we might face not just in cricket but in all sports," Lorgat added when asked on the impact of the attacks.

"That''s because in my view that is a barrier that has been breached and once you cross over something of that sort, I think things will change forever."

Lorgat admitted that security had now become an even bigger issue for the 2011 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held on the subcontinent, and any other event held by the ICC.

"We will respond in a manner that will be responsible and proper and we have scheduled an agenda item for the board meeting in April where we would like to fully assess what has transpired and how we will respond.