Proposed Afghanistan tour of Pakistan on hold after Lahore blast

International cricket in Pakistan has been a rarity following the 2009 Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan team © Associated Press

The PCB has put on hold its ongoing discussions with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) regarding Afghanistan’s proposed tour of Pakistan in April, following the terrorist attack in a recreational park in Lahore on Sunday. Kenya Women’s trip to Pakistan has also been called off amid the new wave of security concerns.

Afghanistan were in talks to tour Pakistan next month for a series of three ODIs as well as a four-day game against Pakistan A. But with the blast in Gulshan-i-Iqbal park – about 15 minutes away from Gaddafi Stadium – which killed over 70 people, the tour is now in doubt. Afghanistan’s ODIs in Pakistan had been tentatively slated for the period between April 15 and May 8, with Lahore and Karachi serving as venues.

Kenya Women were to have visited as part of a development programme, which would have seen them play a series of matches against a Pakistan Women developmental team.

In 2011, Afghanistan became the first international team to tour Pakistan, for a series against Pakistan A, following the terror attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009. They also visited frequently for conditioning camps at the National Cricket Academy facility. But now, ESPNcricinfo understands, the Pakistan government has advised against hosting the series.

Pakistan successfully hosted Zimbabwe for two T20Is and three ODIs last year, with heavy security arrangements in place, but has not been able to attract any other international team since then. With the exception of that Zimbabwe tour, Pakistan has had to play all its home matches since March 2009 at neutral venues, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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