Pakistan advised to play at neutral venues

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2008 10:22 hrs

Islamabad; Former Australia captain Greg Chappell has advised Pakistan to consider playing at neutral venues until security improves at home.

''Playing cricket on neutral venues like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi could be a practical option,'' Chappell was quoted by English language daily newspaper The News on Wednesday.

Pakistan has played little cricket in 2008, with the Champions Trophy it was slated to host being postponed and Australia calling off a tour due to the perceived danger created by political violence.

Hundreds of people have died in several recent violent incidents. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at Rawalpindi in December, while at least 53 people were killed on Saturday in a terrorist attack on a hotel in Islamabad.

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''Blasts can happen anywhere in the world these days but Pakistan is a different case,'' Chappell said.

''There is too much happening there and it's quite a dangerous place to visit.''

Pakistan has previously played 'home' Tests abroad, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka in 2002 when foreign teams refused to tour Pakistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Chappell, who had also coached India, said Australia and New Zealand players particularly have fears about travelling to Pakistan.

New Zealand aborted its 2002 tour after several people were killed in a bus parked outside the team hotel just hours before the second test was due to begin.

''Their (New Zealand) players saw severe loss of human lives around them. They were really scared,'' Chappell said.

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