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Pakistan rule out swapping or shifting Australia series

January 24, 2008 16:11 IST
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Pakistan's cricket board chairman says there is "no question" that the country will host the upcoming test and one-day international series with Australia, despite reports of a possible switch.

Australia are scheduled to tour Pakistan in March and April for the first time in 10 years but the series of three tests and five one-day internationals is under threat after Cricket Australia and several players expressed security concerns.

"Pakistan Cricket Board has only one position on this tour and that is Australia will play as per their commitment in March-April of 2008," PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters on Thursday.

Australian media has reported that there was a chance the tours would be swapped between the two countries.

In Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald, a report said a Pakistan board member had raised the possibility of swapping tours so Australia could host the matches in March, then tour Pakistan in November 2009.

Ashraf, however, dismissed the suggestion.

"There is no question of a neutral venue and there is no question of us going to Australia at this time," he said.

"We are scheduled to tour Australia in 2009 and we will keep our commitment and we expect them to do that as well.

Ashraf said he would visit Dubai to attend a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and would hold talks with his Australian counterpart.

Both countries are yet to agree on an itinerary and CA has said it would be sending a delegation to Pakistan next month to review the security situation in the country after elections, the build-up to which has been marred by violence, including the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last month.

"I will convince the Australian cricket bosses that cricket and sports remains unaffected by terrorist activities in Pakistan," Ashraf said.

Australia were due to play in Pakistan in 2002 but after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the series was played at neutral venues Nairobi, Colombo and Sharjah.

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