Lahore : Cricket Australia have cancelled its tour of Pakistan in the wake of the serial blasts in Lahore. The tour was scheduled to commence from the 29th of March, 2008. Punjabkesari learnt that Cricket Australia decided not to continue with the tour citing security reasons.
Earlier, Cricket Australia were given a week's time to decide on the future of the tour, however, with the subsequent blasts they have called off the tour. The Pakistan Cricket Board also confirmed the same that the Australia's tour to Pakistan has been postponed for the moment. No confirmations came about a postponed date and whether the countries will play in any neutral venue have come in from either of the boards. However, the ICC have reportedly considered the likelihood of the series being played at a neutral venue, despite Pakistan's objections. The PCB started to look for a replacement, as the three-member PCB delegation visited Colombo to ask Sri Lanka to tour and the request is was reportedly being considered.
Reports suggest that the chairmans of both the boards will meet in Dubai after a week's time to further discuss possible dates for the tour. Commenting on the decision CA's 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."
Reacting to Cricket Australia's decision the Pakistan Cricket Board Chief said that not much can be done at this moment and hoped that the tour of Australia to Pakistan can materialize at the earlier opportunity.
Pakistan Cricket Board assured CA that fullproof security would be provided for the players, however, the serial blasts have forced CA to reject the tour. The PCB went to every length to convince Australia that their players would be safe but CA believed that it is unsafe to visit a nation that is undergoing such volatile situations.