Pakistan looks to Kenya for tri-nation home series

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan is likely to name Kenya to host a three-way home series against Australia and New Zealand as security fears continue to haunt cricketing in the country, an official said Tuesday.

"Kenya is most likely to host our tri-nation series because it suits all the participating teams as well as our broadcasters," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Brigadier Munawwar Rana told reporters. He said Bangladesh was also ready to host the October Test series against Australia. A final decision would be announced later in the month. Sri Lanka and the UAE were also possible venues for the Test series, Rana added. "This is a continuing setback for us that due to international events we have to relocate our home series to neutral venues," Australia and New Zealand have voiced security concerns about playing in Pakistan after terrorist attacks in Karachi killed 11 French naval engineers on May 8, and 12 Pakistanis outside the US consulate on June 14. New Zealand was the first team to tour Pakistan in April but it had to cut short its tour after the May 8 suicide bomb attack outside its hotel. The June bomb attack outside the US consulate forced the Australians to rethink their tour to Pakistan. "The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have in principle agreed to play at neutral venue, but we would take their consent on the choice once its finalised," Rana said. Rana held meetings with ACB and NZC officials on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in London last month. He said Pakistan would further incur huge financial losses from relocating the series. Public interest was also waning. "If you continue to play your series outside, then public interest goes down and it's an alarming situation." Pakistan had to play its home series against the West Indies in the UAE in February and March this year after the West Indies refused to tour Pakistan citing concerns at tensions with India.

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