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ICC panel to meet in Lahore on Oct. 20, 21

ISLAMABAD Oct. 2. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has re-scheduled its development committee meeting, which will now be held in Lahore on October 20 and 21, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia, said on Wednesday.

``It is a decision that is in the right direction and hopefully will lead foreign teams into resuming tours of Pakistan,'' the PCB Chairman said in a statement. The ICC took the decision at its executive board meeting in Colombo on Tuesday. The meeting was originally scheduled in Lahore for October 27, but was cancelled in July because of security concerns.

Most of the top cricket officials, including the ICC chairman, Malcolm Gray, and the chief executive, Malcolm Speed, are expected to attend the two-day meeting.

``This meeting will hopefully end the fears of foreign teams who have recently relied more on their own source of information rather than trusting the words of the Pakistan government. The foreign delegates will be provided the highest protocol and best hospitality so that they can take back the positives from here,'' the PCB chairman said.

Lt. Gen. Zia said the ICC had also accepted Pakistan's request of constituting a "safety and security commission'' that will submit its report on countries that were faced by security problems.

Pakistan, at the executive board meeting, also submitted the Justice Karamat Bhandari report. Justice Bhandari investigated the charges of foul play during the 1999 World Cup and cleared all the players of any wrongdoing.

Sir Paul Condon's Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) was also given another three-year extension by the ICC.

Lt. Gen. Zia said he had met Sir Paul Condon and inquired why only Pakistan's match against Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy was examined.

``Sir Paul Condon explained to me that his unit had secured the footages of all the matches and it was just coincidence that Pakistan got publicity for wrong reasons because it was involved in the opening match of the competition,'' lt. Gen. Zia said.

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