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Play at neutral venues until security improves: Chappell

Lahore, Sep 24 (UNI) Concerned over the present security situation in Pakistan after the recent suicide attack in Islamabad, former Australian captain Greg Chappell has advised the trouble-torn nation to consider playing at neutral venues until the situation gets normal.

''Playing cricket on neutral venues like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi could be a practical option,'' Chappell was quoted as saying by 'The News' today.

With the postponement of the high-profile Champions Trophy until next year due to security concerns voiced by various participating teams, the 1992 World Cup Champions have played very little cricket in 2008 and that too with just the minnows of the game.

Chappell further lamented the recent violent incidents in Pakistan that has killed hundreds of people, with the terrorist attack on the Mariott hotel, Islamabad, last Saturday killing at least 53 people.

''Blasts can happen anywhere in the world these days but Pakistan is a different case,'' Chappell said. ''There is too much happening there and it's quite a dangerous place to visit.'' Earlier in 2002, Pakistan had to play a 'home' Test series in in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka after foreign teams refused to tour the strife-torn nation following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 60-year-old former India coach said the Aussies and Kiwis particularly have fears about traveling to Pakistan.

New Zealand aborted its 2002 tour after several people were killed in a bus parked outside the team hotel just hours before the second Test was due to begin.

''Their (New Zealand) players saw severe loss of human lives around. They were really scared,'' Chappell added.


Story first published: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 19:38 [IST]
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