CA decides not to tour Pakistan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Cricket Australia has virtually decided not to tour Pakistan after getting a briefing from their High Commission in Islamabad.

Updated: March 08, 2008 11:45 IST
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Cricket Australia has virtually decided not to tour Pakistan after getting a briefing from their High Commission in Islamabad, but will not announce a decision until next week.

Well informed sources told PTI that although the PCB is still making efforts through the government to salvage the tour, the Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan Zorica McCarthy had advised the Aussies against touring the country because of the prevailing security situation.

"Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers Association have virtually decided not to undertake the tour after the briefing they got from the High Commissioner and independent external security advisors. But they will announce this next week," a source said.

He said the Australians wanted the Pakistan Cricket Board to consider shifting the series to neutral venues in a bid to avoid a total cancellation.

But PCB insisted it will not play at neutral venues which it terms as a dangerous option beneficial neither to both the boards or cricket in general.

"The feedback CA and ACA have got is negative about the security situation in Pakistan and the travel advice is 'don't go to Pakistan'. So it would be impossible for them to now play in Pakistan against this sort of advice," the source said.

Australia had also cancelled their tour to Pakistan in 2002 and it was later shifted to neutral venues.

Sources said CA was keen to ensure Pakistan did not suffer big financial losses because of the series being cancelled and wanted to make amends.

"Pakistan stands to lose around eight million dollars if the Australians don't come," one source said.

He pointed out that the PCB had been spending a lot of money in recent months on domestic cricket, players and administrative expenses and if Ricky Ponting's team does not come, they will sooner or later face a financial crunch.

Sources said the PCB was now trying to salvage the tour through the government and it was in this regard that Chairman Nasim Ashraf met with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad this week.

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