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Cricket Australia refuse to tour Pakistan

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Karachi: Cricket Australia have reportedly refused to tour Pakistan in March this year, citing security concerns.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Australia have decided not to visit Pakistan during the upcoming five-match ODI series and have informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about this decision, in early January.

Although Cricket Australia is open to the idea of touring Pakistan in the future.

“At this stage, from an Australia team perspective, we are not contemplating moving our current bilateral-tour arrangements from taking on Pakistan in the UAE, when they host the next series,” a CA spokesperson said. “But we do remain open to the idea of playing in the country again. We formally advised the PCB of this position in early January.”

The spokesperson further said that they will continue to monitor the security situation in Pakistan but the safety of their players is their number one priority.

“We want to see international cricket return to Pakistan – the country has a huge passion for it,” the spokesperson added. “However, the safety of our players and support staff is our number one priority and we won’t compromise that. We’ll continue to take advice from a range of government agencies and our own security intelligence and act on this accordingly.”

Responding on the report, PCB issued a statement stating that: “Chairman PCB [Ehsan Mani] wrote a letter to the CA Chairman, Earl Eddings, on 7 January in which he had suggested that the CA, as part of a standard protocol and process for bilateral series, should send their recce team to Pakistan to receive presentations on Pakistan’s security arrangements.”

The statement added: “PCB is still waiting for a response from the CA. Until the PCB hears further from the CA on their 7 January letter, they will consider this as an open and an ongoing discussion.”

Most cricket nations have avoided touring Pakistan since 2009 when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, injuring six players and killing six security personnel and two civilians.

Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998 — when they played three Tests and three one-day internationals under the captaincy of Mark Taylor.

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