Peshawar likely to lose out on ODI

Monday, August 6, 2007

Security concerns might lead to Peshawar being axed from the itinerary

The PCB is considering shifting an ODI from Peshawar to Lahore during the forthcoming home series against South Africa, citing poor facilities as the reason behind the move. The venue change has been considered even though the Australian or South African boards have not expressed safety concerns about the venues.

"The PCB did not receive any information either from South Africa or Australia showing any intention for the postponement of the tour or showing any kind of concern about security, but the PCB can shift the match from Peshawar because of poor facilities at the Arbab Niaz Stadium,"

Shafqat Naghmi, PCB chief operating officer, told Dawn.

"I am going to Peshawar on Monday to inspect the facilities available at the stadium, after which we will take a final decision in this regards,"

he said.

There have been contradicting reports regarding the change of venue in recent days. Some officials have privately said security concerns from the tourists remains the main reason behind the move, though others acknowledge that the stadium is in no fit shape to host an ODI. The Arbab Niaz Stadium was recommended unfit to hold an international match after Pakistan hosted India last year due to its poor administrative and security set-up.

If not Lahore, then Karachi, which is already hosting a warm-up match and the first Test match, might gain from the shift. South Africa are scheduled to start the tour from September 26 and will play two Tests and five ODIs in all.

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