'Australia, South Africa will not cancel Pak trip'

With international teams raising concerns over touring Pakistan in the wake of violence, the PCB says the situation is not that bad.
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Updated on Jul 23, 2007 04:07 PM IST
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PTI | By, Karachi

With Australia and South Africa raising concerns over touring Pakistan in the wake of an escalation in violence, cricket board Chairman Nasim Ashraf said the situation had not reached such levels where international teams cannot play.

After playing in the Twenty20 World Cup, Pakistan hosts South Africa for two Tests and five one-day internationals from September 27 but doubts have emerged on the tour due to the unrest in the country.

The Australian A and under-19 teams will tour Pakistan in September-October while the senior side is scheduled for a trip in February-March next year to play three Tests and five one-day internationals.

An Australian security delegation visited Pakistan last week and expressed satisfaction with the arrangements for their A and under-19 teams that tour from September 1 but rejected Karachi and Peshawar as match venues.

Ashraf said he was confident the environment in Pakistan had not changed to the extent that international teams could not play.

"The situation is fine and we keep on getting updates from the government," Ashraf said.

On the visit of the Australian security delegation, Ashraf said, "They expressed their satisfaction with the arrangements but they are yet to inform us about their final report," Ashraf said.

Ashraf also said the South African board have assured them that the tour was on.

"They have as yet not informed us of any plans for them to send a security delegation for an inspection visit to Pakistan prior to the tour. They are committed to playing in Pakistan," Ashraf said.

South Africa is due to open its tour in Karachi with a three-day game followed by the first Test and a one-dayer in Peshawar, the capital city of the North West Frontier Province where a wave of suicide bomb attacks have been carried out on security and police forces and government installations in the last few days.

The NWFP also shares its border with Afghanistan with the United States increasing its insistence on carrying out strikes on suspected al-Qaeda hideouts in the tribal regions of Pakistan.

South Africa have said they would get feedback from Australia on the security environment and are closely monitoring the situation.

"That is a thorny issue for us also and most probably we will shift the venue," a PCB official said on the South African tour.

Meanwhile, PCB has agreed to play a international Twenty20 tournament in Nairobi prior to the inaugural World Cup being held in South Africa from September 11.

Ashraf said they had got an invitation from the Kenya cricket association and given their consent.

"We don't know if it would be a three or four nation event or which are the other teams but we see it as a good opportunity to practice for the World Cup," he said.

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