Australia’s tour to Pakistan subject to security

Saturday, June 2, 2007

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will have to wait for a final word from a high-level security delegation of Cricket Australia (CA) before they can start planning for tours by the Australian junior and senior teams this season.

While the Australian under-19 and ‘A’ teams are due to tour Pakistan from late August to October onwards, the senior team tours in February-March next year to play three Tests and five One-day Internationals (ODIs).

A senior official of the board said on Friday that Cricket Australia had confirmed they would be sending their inspection team on a reconnaissance visit sometime in July.

The Australians would visit all the proposed venues and meet with security officials to ensure their teams face no problems in Pakistan.

Shafqat Nagmi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said the visit by the inspection team didn’t mean the Australians had any reservations about playing in Pakistan. “Their tours are very much on. These inspection visits are now routine and done before every series,” he added.

Australia had in 2002 backed out of touring Pakistan citing security concerns for their players after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The series was later played at neutral venues.

The Australians last played a Test series in Pakistan in 1998-99 but their junior teams have made visits in the last three years.

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