Cricket Ireland put talks of possible Pakistan tour on hold
Attacks on Karachi airport sees proposed September trip deferred
Cricket Ireland have put on hold talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board over a potential tour of the country following an attack by Taliban militants at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Photograph: Rehan Khanepa
Talks between Cricket Ireland and the Pakistan Cricket Board on a potential three-match One-Day International series in Pakistan this September have been put on hold following the recent terrorist attacks on Karachi airport.
Ireland were in line to become the first international side to tour the country since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009 provided that all matters relating to security were met. The attacks by Taliban militants this week that have left more than 30 people dead have put an end to those talks for now with the potential tour deferred.
“Cricket Ireland and the PCB were in advanced discussions to play three ODIs in Pakistan in September,” Cricket Ireland spokesman Barry Chambers told ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent Umar Farooq.
“These discussions had taken place between the respective chairmen and CEOs over the past three weeks, and had involved contact with ICC, governments, and security advisors. 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.”
Cricket Ireland and the PCB have enjoyed a very strong relationship in recent years, with Pakistan playing two ODIs on both of their last visits to Ireland. The Pakistan women’s team have also been regular visitors here.
Ireland’s preparations for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand have been hit by the lack of ODIs against top nations. The second of the recent games against Sri Lanka in Dublin was rained off, with no other match against a Full Member scheduled as yet ahead of next February’s competition.
Ireland have never played an ODI in one of the top six cricketing nations outside of World Cups, with West Indies and Bangladesh having hosted games in the past.