Australia cancel Pakistan tour over security fears
In a big setback to Pakistan Cricket board, after India, Australia has also decided not to tour Pakistan on security fears. Australia was supposed to tour Pakistan to play a five-match one-day series and a Twenty20 game but canceled its proposed tour because of lingering fears over security in the troubled nation.
The world champions were due to visit in April, after cancelling their tour last year, but have voiced concerns over possible security threats to their players.
The latest blow to Pakistan cricket follows a decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Sunday to relocate the 2009 Champions Trophy away from the country.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told AFP that the Australia series was unlikely to take place in Pakistan in April after a meeting with Cricket Australia officials in Melbourne.
‘It (the series) in unlikely to be played in Pakistan,’ Butt said. ‘We are discussing dates and venues, which I will let the media know when I return on Friday,’ he said.
Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998, concerned about players’ safety in a nation beset by continuing militant violence.
They postponed a tour of the country in March last year after a spate of suicide bombings but agreed to reschedule the tour into two separate visits – a one-day series in 2009 and Tests in 2010.
In anticipation of Australia’s latest refusal, the PCB had offered various venues to Australia – the UAE, Malaysia, Ireland and England.
Sources close to the board said Pakistan would likely play three one-day matches in Abu Dhabi and two one-dayers and the Twenty20 match in Dubai.