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Airport attack fades hopes of cricket revival

KARACHI: Following the terrorist attacks on Karachi Airport this week, Ireland decided to hold back on its ongoing discussion with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to tour Pakistan, ARY News reported.

Ireland had been willing to tour Pakistan as early as September this year on the condition of security assurances but the attack on Karachi Airport has faded the hopes of reviving international cricket in the country.

The spokesperson of Cricket Ireland, Barry Chambers said “Cricket Ireland and the PCB were in advanced discussions to play three ODIs in Pakistan in September.”

“These discussions had taken place between the respective chairmen and CEOs over the past three weeks, and had involved contact with ICC, governments, and security advisors. There had been a preliminary agreement to play three games subject to a security review by credible experts, and agreement from the players and staff, which would have been the next stage of the process. With the recent tragic events at Karachi Airport, the series will now be deferred to a later date”, he added.

Ireland had initially been invited to tour Pakistan early last year following Bangladesh’s withdrawal from a scheduled series in January. The PCB tried hard to negotiate a home series with the BCB, but Bangladesh withdrew twice after seemingly having committed to the tour.

But the recent terrorism act at Karachi Airport that has killed around 30 people has ruled out the proposition.

The international cricket has been suspended in the country since the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009, however after the security assurance from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Ireland showed their support to Pakistan to play cricket in the country.

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