Pak cricket issues beyond ICC reach: Lorgat

KARACHI: Cricket''s world governing body pledged support for Pakistan and expressed hope that the country will play as much international cricket as possible, even at neutral venues.

Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said this while unveiling the World Twenty20 trophy in Karachi with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt and Twenty20 Captain Shahid Afridi.

He said ICC couldn’t resolve the problems Pakistan cricket is passing through.

"Pakistan has plenty of international cricket coming up in all three formats of the game over the next few months," said Lorgat.

"That is hugely important considering it is not possible for the national team to play on home soil at present.

"The international cricket that is planned shows that Pakistan has not been isolated by the unfortunate circumstances at home. It is vital that the team continues to play regularly, even if that is at a neutral venue," said Lorgat.

The former South African player expressed hope that Pakistan can live up to their reputation in the World Twenty20, due to start in the West Indies from April 30.

"Pakistan is the defending ICC World Twenty20 champion, so I have no doubt Shahid Afridi and his team will be working hard to retain the title they deservedly won in England last year," said Lorgat.

Pakistan, led by Afridi, will fly out to the Caribbean on April 24.