Cricket: Pakistan disappointed after Ireland cancel tour following Karachi attack

By AFP
Published: June 11, 2014

Pakistan has been a "no go" location for international squads ever since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan expressed disappointment on Wednesday after Ireland cancelled a scheduled tour following a militant siege on Karachi airport that left 37 people dead, dashing hopes of reviving international cricket following a five-year hiatus.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson said arrangements for a three-match series with associate team Ireland were close to being finalised.

“Ireland team was due to play three one-day matches in Lahore in the first week of September and a lot of effort had gone into convincing them. But all efforts have gone in vain again,” PCB spokesperson Agha Akbar told AFP.

Sunday night’s attacks on Karachi airport left 37 people, including 10 militants, dead.

Pakistan has been a “no go” location for international squads ever since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March, 2009.

The attacks, which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players, forced Pakistan to play all its home matches in neutral venues within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The PCB had twice convinced Bangladesh to tour them in 2012 but the short, limited-over series failed to take off because of security fears.

PCB said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had helped in their latest efforts to see an international squad tour the troubled country.

Cricket Ireland confirmed the talks were in advance stage.

“Cricket Ireland and the PCB were in advanced discussions to play three ODIs in Pakistan in September,” Barry Chambers, Cricket Ireland’s spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo.

“There had been a preliminary agreement to play three games subject to a security review by credible experts, and agreement from the players and staff, which would have been the next stage of the process. With the recent tragic events at Karachi Airport, the series will now be deferred to a later date.”

The PCB, last month, sent an invitation to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for a short series in Pakistan after their president, Mahinda Rajapakse, assured he would send the team.

SLC said it will consider and reply to the invitation after consultations but reports suggest no series will take place this year.

Reader Comments (21)

  • Ashraf
    Jun 11, 2014 - 6:56PM

    Arey yaar, show some Irish courage ! You people faced so many bombs and bullets in WWII. Why are you afraid now?

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  • Ibtisam
    Jun 11, 2014 - 6:58PM

    One najoomi said that cricket will be played in Pakistan in 2019. Please don’t waste time until then.

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  • yehtohsalahonatha
    Jun 11, 2014 - 7:03PM

    Congrats Pakistan! keep doing such things.that’s the only way we can move forward.terrorism, extremism are the future of the world.world is moving ahead with these ways, we should also be.

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  • ali
    Jun 11, 2014 - 7:08PM

    This is clear international conspiracy again

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  • Zaid Hamid Lal Topi Wala.
    Jun 11, 2014 - 7:28PM

    Everybody building virtual wall around Pakistan.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 11, 2014 - 7:36PM

    When PCB will stop lying. There were only talks about a tour and Ireland has put talks on hold. Canceling a tour is a misinformation.

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  • A. Khan
    Jun 11, 2014 - 7:53PM

    Well, no surprises there. Even expat Pakistanis think twice before going to Pakistan now.

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  • Papadoms
    Jun 11, 2014 - 8:02PM

    Can’t blame them. In fact, we should thank Ireland and Sri Lanka for supporting cricket in Pakistan.

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  • Karima
    Jun 11, 2014 - 8:07PM

    I want heads to roll for even inviting these teams in the first place. Pakistanis are running for the nearest visa offices and there are huge backlogs of Pakistani immigration applications pending with almost every possible embassy in Islamabad. When we Pakistanis have had enough and are trying to run away, how can we be foolish enough to invite guests into this country when it is clearly not safe to do so? We should accept the fact our country is no place to live peacefully at the moment and is certainly not a place for a international team to visit as they will become targets for every terrorist that is roaming our streets. PCB should stop trying to invite these teams here, as we should not put our guests lives in danger. This country is not safe, and will not be safe tomorrow either. We have a long road ahead of us, and one that is filled with uncertainty which is why everyone who has the ability to pack up and leave, is in the process of doing so and saying goodbye to Pakistan.

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  • salman
    Jun 11, 2014 - 8:14PM

    Why you want to invite them at first place when country is in a terrorism mess. Its like asking terrorists to hit me. Atleast there shouldn’t be any foreign team in Pakistan for next 2-3 years after successful and proven militarily operation against the militants through out the country.

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  • Jun 11, 2014 - 8:46PM

    I am loving it

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  • Balram
    Jun 11, 2014 - 9:08PM

    @Ashraf:
    The Irish have fought battles and died bravely on the battlefields. Here in Pakistan, there is no battlefield, there is no brave enemy, there is no honor. Just a bunch of gunmen shooting and hiding. Why on earth would anyone go to a place where attack on them is inevitable and apart from roads, the entire western is controlled by landlords, extremists and terrorists. . Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid
    Jun 11, 2014 - 9:11PM

    It was BCCI actually who asked Ireland to cancel the tour.

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  • ravi
    Jun 11, 2014 - 9:15PM

    Pakistan can have a unique tournament with players from all terrorists living there. Good versus bad taliban. Hafees can b good motivator. Gul can b third umpire.

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  • baby doll main sone di
    Jun 11, 2014 - 9:17PM

    @Ashraf:
    somethings are not worth fighting for pakistan is one of those things.

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  • careful reader
    Jun 11, 2014 - 9:28PM

    Pakistan currently has bigger problems than cricket. Forget cricket. Focus on how to save the country.

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  • Shoaib Aziz
    Jun 11, 2014 - 10:44PM

    @Karima:

    Agree 100%. But PCB and govt is to self-centered to care about anyone’s safety. Good that Ireland cancelled tour. No one should come to this crazy country till we sort our house out.

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  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Jun 12, 2014 - 1:35AM

    Anytime any nation decides to break the boycott of Pakistani cricket, Foreign terrorists engage in a major attack. This is no coincidence, but planned to keep Pakistan aloof of the cricket world and isolated. There is only one country which can gain from this, our traditional devil worshippers next door.

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  • Dr.Shafique
    Jun 12, 2014 - 6:54AM

    Why don’t we blame, as usual, India, Israel and USA for foreign cricketers refusing to land on Pakistani soil? Why don’t we form a TCC – Taliban Cricket Club – to play against a Pakistan XI? That would be great. It would keep the Talibs out of mischief and also generate some match-fixing money for Pakistani cricketers. It’s a win-win situation, as Imran Khan would say.

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  • Proud to be Muslim
    Jun 12, 2014 - 9:42AM

    A few months ago, our interior minister asked Taliban to stop fighting and lets play a cricket league but they refused and made a statement that we cannot play until you confirm some neutral umpires.

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  • Zaigham Ali
    Jun 12, 2014 - 11:07AM

    When Pakistan is not sincere to bring peace internally why others to be blamed. Its good to note that Team Ireland has postponed visit to Pakistan to play Cricket. They should keep in mind the fate of Team Sri Lanka, how they got maltreatment in Pakistan.

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