Cancel tour if Karachi is not a venue: Miandad

Published: Friday, July 8, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad feels Pakistani cricket authorities should cancel an upcoming series against England if they do not play a Test in Karachi.

It may be mentioned here that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had categorically told the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that they will not play a Test in the volatile southern port city on their tour due to begin in October.

"I'm disappointed. It is no use playing a cricket series when a visiting team is refusing to play in Karachi despite security assurances from the Board and government," Miandad said.

"Without any direct evidence of a security threat to their players, England must be asked to play in Karachi or the series cancelled," he said.

England are due to tour Pakistan for three test matches and five One-day matches.

It is worth mentioning that Karachi, long plagued by violence between rival ethnic and sectarian gangs, has been hit by a spate of militant attacks since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Visiting teams from Australia, the West Indies, South Africa and India have refused to play Tests in the city. A bomb outside a hotel where a New Zealand team was staying in 2002 killed 14 people, including 11 French engineers.

Miandad said the stand on Karachi taken by England and other teams was hurting the country's image and the PCB should compel England to play in Pakistan's biggest city, he said.

"Such things are hurting us in economic, political and sporting terms," he said. "If Karachi is not safe for the visiting teams than no centre is safe for them."

Another former Pakistani captain, Imran Khan, had said on Wednesday that given the law and order situation in Karachi, England were justified in their decision.

Miandad, who played 124 Tests, criticised Khan for his comments.

"His statement is irresponsible and has hurt the people and image of the country. It gives an opportunity to England to say 'look we are right'.

"No government would like to take a risk with the safety of foreigners if they were not able to provide the required security," he said.

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