South African players wary of playing in Pakistan

July 8th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) After the Australians and New Zealanders, now the South African players have expressed concern over Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy. Pakistan Monday was rocked by a series of blasts in Karachi — one of the venues for the Champions Trophy before a deadly suicide bomb killed at least 15 people Sunday heightening the probability of shifting the event from Pakistan.

While Sri Lanka has been listed as a standby venue, continuing civil war in that country has left South Africa as a firming favourite to hold the Champions Trophy. Some players from a number of countries are likely to refuse to tour Pakistan if it retains the tournament.

South African Players Association chief executive Tony Irish said there were serious concerns held by most player associations regarding Pakistan.

“We are awaiting further security reports before any decisions are taken,” Irish was quoted as saying in The Australian.

However, Pakistan’s cricket chief, Nasim Ashraf, said he hoped the successful and trouble-free hosting of the the Asia Cup would convince other countries that Pakistan was a safe place to come and play the Champions Trophy.

“The successful hosting of the Asia Cup proves that Pakistan is a safe country,” Ashraf said.

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