Pak Board in more rescheduling turmoil

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Organisers of the Sharjah Limited Overs tournament have refused to reschedule the four-nation event from April to March this year, infuriating Pakistan.

"We requested the Sharjah organisers to reschedule the tournament from April to late March which could have allowed us to rearrange our cancelled home series against New Zealand but they refused," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia told reporters. The PCB had wanted the Cricket Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) - the organisers of two annual tournaments in Sharjah - to move the event involving Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and possibly South Africa from April 9 to 19 to the last week of March. That would have enabled Pakistan to host New Zealand in April and May. Pakistan's cricket schedule was knocked out of line after the September 11 attacks on the United States and the retaliatory US-led action against Afghanistan. New Zealand subsequently called off its September tour to Pakistan citing security reasons, causing huge financial losses to the PCB. The West Indies has also said it is reluctant to play a series in Pakistan later in January given the current tensions between Pakistan and India and has asked for it to be shifted to a neutral venue. Zia said such a move would involve substantial losses for the PCB. "We would like to play West Indies on our grounds because playing on neutral venues would mean a major fall in revenues," he said. "Former West Indian captain Clive Lloyd is in Pakistan and we are sure he would give a feedback on security to the West Indies Board." Lloyd arrived in Pakistan on Thursday on a short coaching assignment with Pakistan's youngsters preparing for this month's Junior World Cup in New Zealand. Pakistan, which is currently on a two-Test tour of Bangladesh, played only six Test matches last year, only one of which was played at home.

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