PCB admits security scene could jeopardise tour

Published: Saturday, June 15, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan's Cricket Board (PCB) conceded on Saturday that after a deadly car bomb blast here, the internal security situation would have to improve to convince Australia to proceed with a planned tour.

"Most of the signs relate to the general environment and we think improvement in the environment is a must to host Australia," senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official Brigadier Munawwar Rana said. "We hope that the situation would get better, but we have no control over it," Rana said, adding he was hopeful the tour could go ahead. Despite Pakistan's optimism over the staging of a One-day series against Australia and New Zealand in September and October, followed by a Test series against Australia, a spate of terrorist attacks seems certain to force the matches to be played elsewhere. New Zealand cut short its tour of Pakistan last month after a suicide bomb blast outside the team's hotel in Karachi left 14 people dead, including 11 Frenchmen. Another deadly blast outside the US Consulate on Friday that left 10 people dead and injured more than 50 could be the final death knell for the series. Australian captain Steve Waugh as well as star bowlers Shane Warne and Glen McGrath have already said they do not want to tour Pakistan. Rana said he was in touch with Australian Cricket Board officials and he hoped the matter would be discussed at the International Cricket Council meeting in London in two weeks. "We have a month and a half to host Australia for the One-day series and we hope things will improve to allow us to host the series," he said. Cricket authorities in Sharjah have also offered to host Pakistan's series with Australia. Pakistan cricket has suffered due to the terrorist strikes. Pakistan was forced to play the West Indies at a neutral venue in Sharjah in February this year, causing the PCB huge financial losses.

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