PCB rejects England~~s request for shifting venue

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly rejected its English counterpart's request to have the first Test of their forthcoming winter tour to Pakistan shifted from Multan to Rawalpindi.

PCB's director of cricket operations - Saleem Altaf confirmed that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials had raised some objections about playing in Multan during the meeting held in Lahore earlier this month.

"The suggestion came that the Test be shifted from Multan to Rawalpindi," Altaf was quoted as saying in the leading Pakistan daily The News, "but we have rejected this proposition since Multan has a beautiful Test stadium and it is one of our best cricket venues."

According to the daily, Board sources had said that the ECB had raised objections to the distance between the hotel and stadium, the security risks involved in travelling daily on such a long route in crowded areas and the fact that Multan only had one quality hotel.

But Altaf said that the ECB officials had been reminded that on their recent tour to India, Pakistan had played at venues which were smaller than Multan where the distances from the hotel to the stadium were longer.

David Morgan and Shahryar Khan, the chairmen of the respective Boards, met at Lord's in the weekend and hosting of games in Karachi was at the top of the agenda.

"I had impromptu talks with Shahryar Khan and the Boards were in agreement about the itinerary for the tour," Morgan said. "Now all we are awaiting is approval from the Pakistan government. I would hope that we will be able to confirm the schedule within the next few days."

It may be mentioned here that England have already refused to play a Test or two back-to-back One-dayers at Karachi and said they will play only one One-day in the city.

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