South African cricket team to assess need to continue tour of Pakistan

November 14th, 2007 - 2:31 am ICT by admin  
A decision on whether the tour will continue or not is expected later today.

Michael Owen-Smith, South Africa’s media manager, said: “The safety and security of the team is paramount at all times. We have been shocked by the news and our thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones and with those who have been injured. Beyond this point, we now consult Cricket South Africa officials with the PCB and with our own security consultants before taking any decision. The situation is fluid. I can’t comment or speculate further as we first need to assess the incident.”

Karachi is due to host the final ODI on October 29 and the blasts occurred near the National Stadium. The attacks were directed at the motorcade of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

According to a cricinfo website report, South Africa cut short their tour of Sri Lanka last year following a bomb blast in Colombo near the team hotel. Several countries have refused to tour Pakistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. New Zealand abandoned their tour in 2002, following a blast outside their team hotel in Karachi, which the players described the incident as the “trauma of their lives”. However, the situation in the last couple of years has normalised, with teams agreeing to play matches in the city.

South Africa’s last tour to the country, in 2003, was also shortened after a bomb blast in Karachi, a venue they eventually avoided. However, they played a warm-up game there before winning the first Test in Karachi on the current tour. (ANI)

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