Pak board insures Aussie series for US$ 7.4 mil

Published: Monday, January 21, 2008, 18:10 [IST]
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Karachi: In order to ensure that it suffers minimum possible losses in case the Aussies call off their Pakistan tour slated for this March, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has insured the series for a whopping 7.4 million US dollars. It would lose an estimated 500,000 dollars only in case the series does not take place.

PCB also has insured all its home Future Tour Programmes (FTP).

"We have insured our home series with the special mention of the series against Australia with a British company and in this way we can cover any financial losses," PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters.

The Australian tour was put in doubt by the assassination of Pakistan Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto last month, even as more than 20 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Lahore on Jan 10.

But Ashraf denied that Pakistan was unsafe for international teams.

"Pakistan is as safe as any country in the world and by getting insurance on the series we are not giving any wrong signals that they (Australia) should not come as we will get money on cancellation," said Ashraf.

Pakistan began insuring series in June last year, after touring Scotland for a charity match that was washed out, only to learn that organisers had insured the game and were financially covered.

Confirming that the Pakistan-Aussie series was insured, a top PCB official said that they would leave no stone unturned to ensure all possible safety measures during the tour.

"We thought, if a country doesn't agree with touring here, we should insure. There were a variety of reasons we insured … if the series doesn't go ahead, we won't lose much financially. But if there were any issues of safety for Australia, we would be the first ones to say something," said PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi.

Australia will honour FTP, says Morgan: Meanwhile, International Cricket Council (ICC) president-elect David Morgan has said that he hoped Australia would go ahead with their proposed tour.

Looking satisfied at the safety measures being undertaken by PCB, Morgan said the series may proceed in the politically volatile country.

"I believe that the processes are in place and that they will be invoked quite properly, and I would hope that cricketers can be protected and looked after. Pakistan has a great tradition of cricket … and it would be rather sad if it turned out that there were good reasons why that tour couldn't proceed. Zimbabwe are in Pakistan currently, and I hope that the level of safety and security will be such that cricket tours to Pakistan can go ahead," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Morgan as saying.

Morgan is slated to assume the ICC presidency in May.


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