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Australia A cricket tour of Pakistan not in danger after bombings
by AFP


Event:Australia A in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 22nd September 2005

 

Twin bomb blasts in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday pose no threat to the ongoing tour by the Australia A cricket team, a senior cricket official said.

 

"We have met Australia officials and assured them of a safe tour," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) general manager Zakir Khan told AFP. The two explosions killed six people and injured more than 30 others.

 

Australia A, who earlier lost the two-match Test series 1-0, are due to play the first of three one-day matches in Lahore Friday and the remaining two on September 25 and 27, the first by any Australian team in seven years.

 

"We have shifted Friday's match from Bagh-e-Jinnah to Gaddafi stadium because of rain and it has nothing to do with security," said Khan.

 

Australia A manager Bernard Robertson agreed the tour would continue.

 

"Cricket will go on and we have a match on Friday. I don't have any further comment to make," Robertson told AFP.

 

"I have been in contact with Cricket Australia who is aware of the happenings," Robertson had said before the meeting.

 

Pakistan, which is to host England next, hopes the Australia A tour will be completed without trouble.

 

England are due to tour Pakistan from October 26 to play three Tests and five one-day games.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board, which refused to play a Test in the violence-plagued port city of Karachi and only agreed to play a one-day match there, had said they would continue to assess security before the tour.

 

Australia's senior team had continued their Ashes tour of England even after London bombings in July which killed more than 50 people.

 

Australia's senior cricket team, which last toured Pakistan in 1998, refused to return in 2002 over security fears in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States and the ensuing invasion of Afghanistan.

 

Two years later, Australia's hockey team pulled out of the six-nation Champions Trophy in Lahore after a series of bomb blasts in Punjab province.

 

West Indies also refused to play in Pakistan while New Zealand had to cut short a tour when a bomb exploded outside their hotel in Karachi, killing 14 people including 11 French Naval Staff - both in 2002.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)

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