ICL: Indian Cricket League

TV crew of Ten Sports leaves Pakistan after Karachi blast

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 3rd, 2006   (556 views)

Dubai based Ten Sports has pulled out it’s crew from Karachi after the bomb blast on thursday. PCB is now try to negotiate a deal with PTV to broadcast rest of the matches of the ABN AMRO Twenty20 CUP.

According to the report in The News, The foreign television producers and broadcasters of the ongoing Twenty20 Cup national tournament have pulled out of Pakistan following the suicide bomb attack outside the United states Consulate here on Thursday.

An official of the Dubai-based channel, which holds the television rights of Pakistan cricket and were broadcasting the tournament, confirmed the production crew would be returning home on the next available flight.

“The crew is basically from countries like England, Australia, India and South Africa and they are scared after the bomb blast today. They want to return home because of the security concern despite our best efforts to reassure them to carry on work in the tournament,” the official disclosed.

Director Cricket Operations of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told ‘The News’ that talks were being held with Pakistan Television (PTV) Corporation to get them to telecast the matches on the final three days of the tournament.

“The tournament will go on because we’ve reached the semifinals stage and we can’t postpone it now. We are negotiating with PTV and trying to reach some sort of arrangement under which the remaining games can be shown on PTV,” Saleem Altaf said.

Well-informed sources said the Dubai-based company had been forced to call back its crew because the insurance company, which provided cover for the rented equipment and personal, had cancelled its policy after the bomb blast. “The companies, which rented out the equipment for the coverage, have asked for their equipment back immediately due to the cancellation of insurance on it,” one source said.

Foreign TV producers and broadcasters generally hire the expensive equipment to cover international cricket matches.

The source said some of the crewmembers of the company who was based in a local five star hotel close to the vicinity of the blast, had been shaken by the intensity of the bomb blast which damaged windows of nearby hotels and buildings.

“One crew member has refused to come out of his room as he is hysterical after the blast. Another crew member says he can still hear the blast again and again and is completely shaken,” the source said.

Altaf said the PCB had tried its best to convince its TV agents to complete the coverage of the tournament but it had expressed its inability to do this as the crew members were simply not willing to stay back at all in Karachi. “Even when there was the mob violence in Lahore during the recent India series the crew members were worried but we convinced them to stay back but this time they are shattered,” the source said.

Another PCB official admitted it was a setback for Pakistan cricket as the PCB had been trying hard to convince teams to tour Pakistan and play in Karachi without any security concerns.

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