International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan believes that cricket will go on despite the tragic events in Lahore but his CEO Haroon Lorgat does not expect to see international cricket return to Pakistan in the near future.
The pair were speaking at a specially arranged press conference at Lord's following the tragic events in Lahore which saw the Sri Lankan team bus attacked by gunmen prior to day three of a Test match.
"We feel for the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka at what is an extremely difficult time," Morgan said.
"The world is a dangerous place but cricket must go on. It will go on. It's a great game," he added.
Policemen and a bus driver were killed during the attack which was coordinated by around 14 gunmen while seven Sri Lankan players and assistant coach Paul Farbrace were injured. Lorgat confirmed that fourth umpire Ahsan Raza remained in a critical condition having been shot in the abdomen.
"The fourth umpire is (still) in Lahore," Lorgat commented. "He's in intensive care and he's being treated.
"It's difficult to see international cricket being played in Pakistan for the foreseeable future," Lorgat went on to say, meaning that Pakistan's chances of hosting the 2011 World Cup are now significantly reduced.
And Morgan confirmed that the ICC "will have to think very carefully about the extent to which Pakistan will be used for that event.
"The situation in Pakistan is such that teams should not be expected to go there in the immediate future but things can change very quickly.
“Even if Pakistan is considered unsafe, cricket in that country must not be allowed to suffer unduly because of this. It is better that Pakistan plays its home fixtures at neutral venues rather than not at all.
“In relation specifically to ICC events scheduled to take place in other parts of the world, the ICC conducts extensive safety and security assessments for venues of all its events. While the ICC can never give a 100 per cent guarantee, we have confidence in the independent security experts we have advising us and that appropriate and effective security measures are in place for all ICC events,” Lorgat added.
The Sri Lankan team will return home later today and the rest of the match officials have returned to the Middle East after the tour was cancelled.
© Cricket World 2009