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Registration date : 2007-07-03

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PostSubject: Lahore & Karachi Likely To Gain   Lahore & Karachi Likely To Gain Default12Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:14 pm

Pakistani cricket officials will soon revise the tour programme for the home series against South Africa and are likely to give Lahore one more one-dayer and include Karachi in the list of ODI venues.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, who requested anonymity, told ‘The News’ on Saturday that Peshawar and Rawalpindi will be dropped as venues for the five-match ODI series involving the Proteas and instead those two games would most likely take place in Lahore and Karachi.

South Africa are due to start their tour to play two Tests and five one-dayers in Pakistan on September 27. They would be arriving in Karachi and after turning up for a warm-up game here, they would play the opening Test at the National Stadium. Lahore is scheduled to host the second Test. According to the existing itinerary, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad are the venues for the five one-dayers.

However, the official said that top Board officials have decided to revise the programme of the one-day series considering the factor that the safety of the touring players could be at risk in Peshawar and Rawalpindi.

There have been reports that Cricket South Africa has raised concerns over Peshawar as a venue during their team’s tour of Pakistan because of security fears.

In several parts of the NWFP, not too far from Peshawar, there have been a series explosions and suicide bomb attacks on security forces in recent days. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by extremists in response to last month’s storming of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad by security.

Islamabad and the nearby Rawalpindi have been tense since the Lal Masjid operation which is one reason why Rawalpindi is also likely to be deleted from the series itinerary.

However, the official said that the PCB is planning to revise the tour programme without any outside pressure.

“It is just a case of common sense,” said the official. “There has been no demand from Cricket South Africa or anywhere else. It is an internal decision of the PCB which we have taken after considering the current situation,” he added.

Lahore and Karachi will benefit from the revision of the itinerary as the new tour programme is likely to make it sure that the South Africans will be spending most of their time in two of the country’s biggest cricket centres during the tour.
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