Australia pull out of Pakistan tour

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Security the issue as tour ‘postponed’

AUSTRALIA will not be travelling to Pakistan later this month for a Test and One Day Series because of security concerns, it has been announced today.

The decision finally came after months of uncertainty over whether the tour would go ahead.

Cricket Australia announced their decision adding the tour would not be cancelled, moreover postponed until a later date.

Citing security concerns the postponement ironically came just hours before two bombs ripped through the Pakistan city of Lahore killing at least 22 people and injuring a further 100.

“We are very sorry that the tour could not take place at this time,” Creagh O’Connor, Cricket Australia’s chairman, said. “This was a difficult decision based on independent review of the circumstances prevailing in Pakistan at the moment. We wish no loss to the Pakistan Cricket Board and look forward to undertaking this tour in the near future.”

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Nasim Ashraf said although they were disappointed at the decision they would work quickly to rearrange the tour which is now likely to take place in 2009.

But Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson said he did not believe the Australians were “justified” in postponing the tour.

“I don’t think they [Australia] are justified in postponing the series. I am living in Pakistan and feel secure,” Lawson said.

“I am disappointed, although it was expected. It is a shame that we are not playing Australia at a time when they are beatable.

He added: “There is an immediate disappointment of not having the best team in Pakistan and it’s a loss for players, fans, and administrators.

“It may have a major effect in the short term and it’s up to the PCB to assure that it will not have a major effect in the longer run.”

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