The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SA govt asks UCB to avoid Karachi, Peshawar

Durban: South Africa’s tour of Pakistan ran into trouble on Tuesday after the department of foreign affairs advised the United Cricket Board of South Africa not to play in Karachi and Peshawar during their visit starting later this month.

UCBSA media officer Bronwyn Wilkinson said the department had advised the team to avoid visiting the two cities.

South Africa are to play three one-day Internationals and three Tests on the tour starting on September 21.

A warm-up match, a one-day International (on Sept. 26) and the third Test (Oct. 23-27) were scheduled to be played in Karachi while Peshawar was to host the second Test (Oct. 16-20).

The UCBSA first expressed its reservations about playing at the two venues two weeks ago, citing security concerns despite assurances from the PCB of state-level security to the players.

Wilson said the UCBSA had received a letter from PCB chief executive Rameez Raja guaranteeing players’ security, saying the tour was at an advanced level to change the itinerary.

“We have forwarded their fax to foreign affairs, and we are awaiting their response,” Wilkinson said.

“However, we have made it clear to the Pakistani cricket authorities that we cannot go against government advice, and that we can’t put our players’ safety and security at risk,” she said.

Brownyn also said player insurance would be impossible to obtain if the UCBSA undertook the tour to areas that the government was concerned about.

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