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 SA Urge Pakistan To Revise Tour Itinerary

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Registration date : 2007-07-03

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PostSubject: SA Urge Pakistan To Revise Tour Itinerary   SA Urge Pakistan To Revise Tour Itinerary Default12Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:22 pm

South Africa have asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to revise their tour programme, which includes two tests and five one-day internationals, due to the security situation in Pakistan. Pakistan Cricket Board sources said that South Africa had expressed concerns over playing in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). ''They have asked for a revision in the itinerary including a second look at the venues. They are not comfortable with Peshawar,'' said one PCB source. The NWFP province, which borders Afghanistan, has seen several explosions and suicide bomb attacks on security forces in the last few days after the government stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad to flush out suspected Islamic militants. More than 200 people, mostly policemen and soldiers, have been killed in bomb and suicide attacks across Pakistan since the army assault on the Mosque last month. South Africa's tour is due to start on Sept. 27 with the Tests scheduled for Karachi and Lahore while the one-dayers are in Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad. ''The venues will revised in the next two weeks as we are having discussions with them (South Africa),'' the source said. ''But they are satisfied with the overall security arrangements we are making for their tour. They have confidence in our ability to handle things,'' he added. He added that he did not expect South Africa to refuse to play the first test in the southern port city of Karachi. In 2003, South Africa refused to play in Karachi and Peshawar for security reasons. Pakistan is also due to host the Australia A team from Sept. 1 and the source said the PCB was concerned another major security incident could derail the tour. ''Cricket Australia at this stage is committed to go ahead with their tour. But we fear one more incident could lead to a rethink on their part,'' the source said. He added their could be a special security protocol in place for Australia and South Africa because of the situation. But PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters in Karachi the Australia and South Africa tours would be held on schedule. He added that the interior ministry and Punjab police were handling the security arrangements and there was no cause for concern on the part of touring sides. Pak turn down SA request: Meanwhile PCB has rejected as 'baseless' a report suggesting South Africa have requested the PCB to change its Pakistan tour itinerary following security concerns over their ODI match in Peshawar later this year, reports UNI from Lahore.. PCB's Director of Cricket Operations, Zakir Khan said till now the tour would proceed as per schedule as the Board has received no such request from their South African counterpart on this issue. He, however, added that the PCB might delete Peshawar and Rawalpindi from the proposed ODI venue list against South Africa, but wholly on their discretion and not on Cricket South Africa's (CSA) request. ''As the host country, it is our right to select venues for matches and we are going to decide if a change in the itinerary is necessary,'' he was quoted by The News as saying. ''We are thinking about it but if there is a revision in the itinerary, it would be done by us,'' he explained.
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