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SA manager hopes fruitful Pak tour

South African cricket manager Cassim Docrat said he hoped his team's tour of Pakistan would be fruitful and competitive.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2003 21:15 IST

South African cricket manager Cassim Docrat said Tuesday he hoped his team's tour of Pakistan, which was cancelled after security concerns and then rescheduled, would be fruitful and competitive.

"We are very happy to be here in your country," Cassim told a press conference after a 15-member South African team arrived early Tuesday under tight security.

The United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) cancelled the tour citing security fears a day after a bomb blast in Karachi on September 19.

The UCBSA, however, agreed to a rescheduled tour of two Tests and five one-day games, instead of the original three Tests and as many one-day games, after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) eliminated Karachi and Peshawar, the two venues where South Africa had concerns of security.

"I know there had been lot of concerns regarding the tour because there has always been primary concerns of ours that the safety of the players is very important," Cassim said.

"We also know the importance of this tour to Pakistan and understand that quite clearly and, therefore, the UCBSA and the PCB made tremendous effort to assist each other and made possible that this particular tour went ahead," said Cassim, who replaced long-serving manager Ghoolam Raja.

"From our side we are grateful to the PCB as well as the Pakistan government to liaising with us and we are here at the moment and looking forward to the tour and hope that this tour becomes a very fruitful and competitive one especially for cricket."

South Africa opens the 29-day tour with a warm-up one-day game against Lahore City XI on Wednesday before taking on Pakistan in the first one-day international at Lahore on October 3.

The remaining one-day games are scheduled for Lahore on October 5, Faisalabad on October 7 and two matches in Rawalpindi on October 10 and 12.

The first Test will be played in Lahore from October 17 to 21 and the second and last in Faisalabad from October 21 to 24.

"With this series, we take this opportunity to know more about Pakistan and its people," the manager said.

South Africa toured Pakistan for a tri-series in 1994-95 and later played the 1996 World Cup here. They also featured in a three-match Test series and in a quadrangular one-day series here in 1997-98.

First Published: Sep 30, 2003 21:03 IST