Pakistan board ready to face Australia scrapping tour

March 7th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, March 7 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is prepared to face the consequences of Australia scrapping their tour but remained confident that the International Cricket Council (ICC) would declare the country safe for cricket. PCB chief executive Shafqat Naghmi did not commit to asking the ICC to rule on the country’s safety, which would carry huge risks for the PCB, which is slated to host the Asia Cup in June and the Champions’ Trophy in September, according to a report in the Age newspaper.But Naghmi was confident that such an assessment, if the ICC conducts it, would go in Pakistan’s favour.

“We are confident on the basis that we have had two tours that went all right,” Naghmi was quoted as saying in the report.

“All the countries have agreed to come here. If it comes to that, it would be nine countries versus one in the sense that other countries have been happy to tour Pakistan. It is only Australia that hasn’t come here for many, many years now.”

The Australian board is awaiting a report from security consultant Reg Dickason before informing PCB of its decision.

“If they think they cannot tour we will think about the steps to follow at that stage. We are bracing ourselves for all decisions. The worst is that they will not come. We will be disappointed, obviously,” said Naghmi.

It is possible the PCB will agree to play on a neutral venue, but at the moment that is not on the cards.

“We believe this is a very dangerous policy, the neutral venue. It doesn’t give the home crowd a chance to see the teams in action in their stadiums. It is not just a TV sport. A neutral venue does not suit anybody,” he said.

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