Pakistan may switch home tour with Australia

Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Brisbane: Pakistan admitted on Wednesday its upcoming Test and One-day series may have to be switched to Australia because of continued concern over security.

"We have given it serious consideration and it will be discussed with Australian officials in London. We know the situation is difficult," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official Brigadier Munawwar Rana said from Karachi. The plan will be discussed at next week's International Cricket Council executive meeting in London. Pakistan was scheduled to stage a One-day series against Australia and New Zealand in September and October, followed by a Test series against Australia. 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 last Friday that left 10 people dead and injured more than 50 could be the final death knell for the series. Australian captain Steve Waugh and star bowlers Shane Warne and Glen McGrath have already said they do not want to tour in Pakistan. Australian Cricket Board (ACB) officials said last week the series with Pakistan could be switched to Australia although cricket authorities in Sharjah have also offered to host the series. Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed, here for a One-day International with Australia, said nothing would be decided until the end of June. ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said last week Australia would be given first choice if the series were switched from Pakistan. Only a handful of people watched Pakistan play the West Indies in Sharjah last year and it was feared a neutral venue for Pakistan-Australia would be a money-loser. Reports in the Australian media last week said the One-day series looked set to be played in late August through September in Cairns, Brisbane and Perth, with the Test series in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth in October. Australia has not lost a Test series at home for 10 years, winning or drawing its last 14 series. Australia also faces a five-Test Ashes series against England and a triangular One- day tournament including Sri Lanka before its heads to South Africa in February to defend its World Cup title.

Photogallery: Ind-WI ODI

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