PCB for Indo-Pak ODI series if Oz pulls out

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Lahore: Connoisseurs of Indo-Pak cricket could be in for a treat with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) planning a one-day series with the arch-rivals if the Australian series gets called off.

''Yes, there have been some discussions with the Indian board to arrange a three or five match one-day series before they host South Africa at home. But nothing is concrete as yet,'' a PCB source said.

According to the PCB, talks had been initiated with some boards whose teams had free time in March-April.

The widespread violence in Pakistan following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had cast doubts on the Australian tour, scheduled to begin next month.

Cricket Australia (CA) said independent security advisors have cautioned against playing in Pakistan because of the uncertain security situation.

However, a PCB official said efforts were being made to convince the Australians to come to Pakistan and a meeting would be held at Kuala Lumpur this week with CA officials.

''But we are aware that they are finding excuses to back out and we are studying all possible options,'' he added.

BCCI tells CA to honour FTP: Meanwhile the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to go ahead with abandon their Pak tour.

''There will be serious consequences because you can't just pull out a committed tour when the host board is giving you assurances about security and so is the government,'' BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla told Pak news channel Geo English.

''...If the host board and government is willing to give assurances you have to accept that you can't just cancel a confirmed FTP tour,'' he added. ''The hosts know best about the prevailing security situation.'' Shukla, who toured Pakistan with the Indian team as an official in 2004 and 2006, said at that time, the Indian players were apprehensive of playing here.

''But we decided to accept the assurances of the Pakistan board and government and the players supported us. Once the tour was over they were all very happy at making the tour,'' he said.

''Similarly I think the Australians must listen to the arguments of the Pakistan board for whom the tour is important.'' The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) welcomed Shukla's statement saying it would have some bearing on the final decision of the Australians.

''Indian board is an influential one because of its position in the cricket world and recently they have managed to get their point across to the Australians on some contentious issues on their ongoing tour,'' a PCB official said.


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