Australia’s Pakistan tour in soup again

March 3rd, 2008 - 12:15 am ICT by admin  

Melbourne, March 2 (IANS) The recent incidents of suicide bombings in Pakistan might prevent Cricket Australia (CA) from even sending a pre-tour delegation to the strife-torn country next week to assess security for a shortened tour scheduled to begin this month, the media reported here Sunday. According to a report in The Australian, the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has already refused to send a representative as part of any delegation to Pakistan, creating tension with CA.

CA is scheduled meet the officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra Wednesday and will take advice on whether it is safe to send a delegation.

“We will go to Canberra with CA on Wednesday to get the latest security briefing,” ACA chief executive Paul Marsh was quoted as saying in the daily.

CA spokesman Peter Young said he was aware of the latest bombings in Pakistan.

“We will sit down with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and take a formal briefing from them on the situation in Pakistan and the likely situation in the coming weeks,” Young said.

“We’ll continue to move through that formal process. We’re not going to pre-empt the outcome of that process until we have gone through the whole thing.”

In northwest Pakistan, nearly 1000 people were attending a funeral for a senior police officer Friday when a suicide bomber killed at least 44 and injured 90. In further violence on Saturday, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a security vehicle, killing a civilian, a security official and injuring 21 others.

Australian consulate offices in Karachi and Lahore have been closed until further notice for security reasons.

Australia was scheduled to tour from March 10, playing three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.

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