Neutral venues for Pakistan tours an option: ICC

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 16:51 hrs

Chennai: Teams reluctant to tour Pakistan should consider playing them at neutral venues, International Cricket Council's chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Thursday.

Pakistan cricket has suffered heavily this year due to the refusal of teams and players to tour following a series of suicide bombings in the past one year.

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In August, the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Champions Trophy in Pakistan after facing a possible boycott from five of the eight teams in the field.

"Rather than not playing cricket at all, it is preferable to at least have a game of cricket," Lorgat told a news conference in Chennai on Thursday.

"And if that means a neutral venue, and we know in Dubai and Abu Dhabi there is some excellent facilities available, my response would be why not use it."

The Indian board is awaiting government clearance for their tour of Pakistan early next year.

But the chances of the tour going ahead are bleak due to strained political ties between the neighbours after last month's attacks that killed at least 179 people.

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"If the government determines that you can't go and tour we've got to respect that. That's the government's decision and there is nothing that the ICC can do against that," he said.

England resumed their aborted tour of India this week after tight security was promised for the two tests following safety concerns in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Lorgat is in Chennai to witness the first Test that began on Thursday to show ICC's support to the series.

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