Pak offers to reschedule SA tour
Smarting under South Africa's sudden decision to cancel their cricket tour, Pakistan Cricket Board has offered to reschedule the itinerary.india Updated: Sep 21, 2003 00:52 IST
Smarting under South Africa's sudden decision to cancel their cricket tour after yesterday's bomb blast in Karachi, Pakistan Cricket Board has offered to reschedule the itinerary.
"The UCB has made its decision in haste," said Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia.
South Africa were scheduled to arrive tomorrow in Pakistan for three Tests and as many one-day internationals between September 24 and October 27.
The tour came in doubt when the Pakistan Cricket Board refused to accede to UCB's demand of moving matches from Karachi and Peshawar.
An expert team from South Africa visited the two venues to oversee security arrangements. And subsequently gave the all-clear for the tour. But yesterday's blast in Karachi forced the UCB to pull out of the tour in the last minute.
Zia said the UCB, while cancelling the tour, had offered three alternatives -- which included playing in neutral venues or in South Africa, or to postpone the series.
"I rejected the first two but at the same time asked them to postpone their tour by a week to reconsider their decision and the tour programme could be altered accordingly," he said.
Zia said he was very hopeful that South African team would eventaully arrive in Pakistan as the ICC, the South African High Commissioner to Pakistan and Match Referee in the on-going Bangladesh series, Mike Proctor, have all promised to take up the issue with the South African board.
Zia said the PCB has agreed to revise the schedule of the first one-day international and the last Test match, both to be played in Karachi. The failure of the South African team to tour Pakistan would cost over five million dollars in TV rights alone, notwithstanding the losses of gate money and revenue from advertisements in the stadiums.
"If the South Africans do not come to play us here, it will affect us very badly. We are still hopeful," PCB Spokesman, Samuel Hassan said.