Proteas want to play if Pak pull out of ODIs

Published: Thursday, August 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: ''Frustrated'' after pulling out of the tri-series in Sri Lanka, South Africa are now ready to play One-dayers against England if Pakistan pull out of the ODI series in the wake of recent ball tampering controversy.

''We would be delighted to go, we'd jump at the chance,'' Proteas coach Mickey Arthur told SuperCricket.

''Although I must stress that I have heard absolutely nothing official and I think it's nothing more than speculation at the moment,'' he added.

South Africans pulled out of the Sri Lanka Unitech Cup citing security concerns thus rendering the tri-series a three-match event between the hosts and India. The bi-series was also scraped later due to bad weather.

''We were very frustrated at what happened in Sri Lanka and we hope Pakistan and England are able to sort things out, but -- although there would be a heck of a lot to organise -- we'd love to fill the gap if it ever came to that,'' Arthur said.

Relations between Pakistan, the ICC and England soured badly during the fourth and final test when Australian umpire Darrell Hair accused the tourists of ball-tampering, penalised them five runs and offered England's batsmen the choice of a replacement ball.

Pakistan refused to take the field after the tea break on the fourth day and the Test match was subsequently forfeited and awarded to England.

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