Lahore, Feb.8 : Cricket Australia officials have expressed "significant concern" over the four venues shortlisted by the Pakistan Cricket Board for the March-April Test and one-day series between Australia and Pakistan.
Pakistan has offered to host the Australian team at Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad, but Cricket Australia has expressed grave apprehension about the places where these matches are to be played. There is now a distinct possibility that Australia's tour of Pakistan may not take place, The Nation reported.
Australia are scheduled to tour Pakistan in March and April for the first time in 10 years but the series of three Tests and five one-day internationals is under threat even because other than Cricket Australia, several players also expressed security concerns.
The PCB has aid that if Australia cancels out on the tour, the possibility of the Pakistan team touring Australia next year is also in doubt.
PCB Chairman Dr. Nasim Ashraf said: "The PCB has only one position on this tour and that is Australia will play as per their commitment in March-April. There is no question of a neutral venue and there is no question of us going to Australia at this time. We are scheduled to tour Australia in 2009 and we will keep our commitment and we expect them to do that as well."
The PCB has already insured the series for 7.4 million American dollars, and if the series does not take place, the host board will have to cough up 22 million dollars as compensation. However, if both the boards look for the middle ground, there is a chance that the series will be played at one or two venues.
Story first published: Friday, February 8, 2008, 13:17 [IST]
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