Australian tour to Pakistan postponed

After Tuesday morning's bomb blasts in Lahore, the Australian board decides to suspend the tour for now.

updated: March 11, 2008 11:25 IST
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New Delhi:

Cricket Australia (CA) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have announced that the Australian Cricket team tour to Pakistan scheduled for March-April 2008 has been postponed. New dates for the tour will be decided in the near future.

The decision was taken following a series of suicide bomb blasts in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday morning. The blasts had left at least 23 dead, according to reports.

This recent act of terror has escalated fears among cricket players and administrators in Australia. They had raised concerns about touring the strife-torn country after former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December.

The Chairmen of the two boards will meet in Dubai next weekend to further discuss possible dates for the deferred tour.

Commenting on the decision, CA Chairman Creagh O'Connor said: "We are very sorry that the tour could not take place at this time. This was a difficult decision based on independent review of the circumstances prevailing in Pakistan at the moment.

"We wish no loss to Pakistan Cricket Board and look forward to undertaking this tour in the near future".

PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf said: "We are obviously very disappointed at this decision.

"I guess there is not much we could do and sincerely hope that the tour of Australia to Pakistan can materialise at the earliest opportunity."