Oz minister denies IPL behind Pak tour cancellation

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has denied reports that the Australian cricket team's tour of Pakistan was cancelled to accomodate their participation in next month"s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Smith said Cricket Australia (CA) made the decision purely for security reasons.

"I have seen suggestions that somehow the decision by Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board is related to the proposed Twenty20 games in India. I absolutely reject that suggestion," The News quoted Smith, as saying.

"What is the most concerning for Cricket Australia are the safety, security and welfare of their players on any proposed tour," he added.

There were reports that Australia is planning a one-day series to replace its postponed Pakistan tour, even though it would clash with the IPL and put senior players offside.

Australian cricket chiefs announced on Tuesday that they had called off their upcoming Pakistan tour in the wake of twin blasts in Lahore which is one of the cities they had to play in.


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