South Africa agree to tour Pakistan
South Africa have reversed their decision to cancel a tour of Pakistan after hosts offered a revised itinerary, officials said on Tuesday.Updated: Sep 24, 2003 12:20 IST
South Africa have reversed their decision to cancel a tour of Pakistan after the hosts offered a revised itinerary, the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) said on Tuesday.
"It has been decided in principle that the tour will go ahead," UCBSA spokesman Moabi Litheko told Reuters.
He said the decision was taken at a meeting of the management committee of Cricket South Africa in Johannesburg.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith and coach Eric Simons also attended the meeting.
The Pakistan tour was given a final go-ahead last week, but the UCBSA then decided to call it off because of a bomb blast in Karachi on Friday.
South Africa had been particularly concerned about matches scheduled for Karachi and Peshawar, near the border with Afghanistan, following consultation with safety and security consultants and South Africa's High Commissioner in Karachi.
However the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would claim damages of approximately $7 million from the UCBSA if it did not reverse its decision to cancel the tour.
The South African cricket authorities decided to meet on Tuesday to discuss a revised itinerary, which drops Karachi and Peshawar as match venues and limits the two tests and three one-day matches to Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad.
"The tour is confirmed and there are no problems with that," PCB chief executive Rameez Raja told Reuters in Karachi. "But we are in the process of finalising the itinerary.
"We are now looking at a shortened and revised tour programme of two tests and five one-day internationals," he added.
South Africa had initially been scheduled to play three one-day internationals and three tests, at Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi, between September 26 and October 27.
Pakistan has been a no-go zone for most cricketing nations since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
In May 2002, a suicide bomb outside a Karachi hotel where the New Zealand team were staying prompted a cancellation of the tour.
India called off a tour in April because of tensions over the disputed state of Kashmir.
First Published: Sep 23, 2003 19:21 IST