Islamabad bombings casts fresh doubts on Champions TrophyJuly 7th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, July 7 (IANS) Sunday’s suicide bombing in Islamabad, that claimed 19 lives, have raised serious doubts over Australia’s participation and also Pakistan’s ability to host the Champions Trophy cricket tournament in September. Australia, England and New Zealand players have already expressed their apprehension on touring Pakistan on grounds of security. The blast have strengthened their cause.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, senior Australian cricketers have informed their team mates that they are not going to take part in the Champions Trophy even if Cricket Australia (CA) gives a green signal. The report said that the bomb blast near the Red Mosque in the Pakistani capital will prove a major deterrent to already nervous Australian players.
The attack comes just days after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave its tentative approval for Pakistan to host the tournament. The ICC is also assessing the security situation in Pakistan and have put a system in place to apprise the teams of the developments.
Islamabad is not scheduled to host any matches of the tournament, but the bomb blast yet again proved that the nation remains in a volatile state.
The daily said that CA’s security adviser, Reg Dickason, returned from Pakistan last week after an inspection. The contents of Dickason’s report have not been revealed, but it is understood security personnel are concerned that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) cannot guarantee cleared roads between team hotels and stadia throughout the tournament.
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