PCB wants to move tourney from India

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KARACHI — Pakistani cricket authorities Tuesday called for an upcoming tournament in India to be moved to a neutral venue, citing security fears in the South Asian country.

India is due to host the Under-19 Asia Cup in November but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would press for a relocation at an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting this week.

“We will discuss this matter in the ACC meeting in Colombo Saturday and we think that the event can be held at any other secure venue outside India and Pakistan,” Najam Sethi, chairman of the PCB’s executive committee, said.

Political tensions have prevented the neighbors from playing a bilateral series since 2007, apart from Pakistan’s tour to India in 2012-2013 when they played a short limited-over series.

Since then, sporting events have been marred by perennial tensions between the arch-rivals.

In 2013 officials were forced to move Women’s World Cup matches from Mumbai to Cuttack over security fears and protests over Pakistan’s participation.

The same year, Pakistan athletes were expelled from a hockey league following protests.

Pakistan blamed a delay in visas for its non-participation in the Junior World Cup in India in 2016, while earlier this year its squash players had to opt out of an event in India due to visa glitches.

The PCB has also initiated legal action against India for not honoring a deal under which the two countries were set to play six senior series between 2014-2023, pending clearance from New Delhi.

The first of those series failed to materialize in 2015 and the second, due in November-December this year, has also been axed.

The PCB last week said it has allocated one billion rupees (10 million dollars) for the legal battle.

“The case will soon be filed with the ICC (International Cricket Council) dispute committee,” said Shaharyar Khan, who completed his three-year tenure as PCB chairman, last week.

Herath out of 3rd Test

Key bowler Rangana Herath has joined Sri Lanka’s growing injury list ahead of the third and final Test against India starting Thursday.

The 39-year-old spinner, Sri Lanka’s No. 1 and the world No. 3 in Tests behind India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, is out with a back injury, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said.

“Herath will not be able to play in the third Test,” Jayasuriya said. “He is suffering a stiff back.”

Sri Lanka has already suffered crushing defeats in the first two Tests and losing Herath compounds its problems.

All-rounder Asela Gunaratne and bowler Nuwan Pradeep picked up injuries in the first and second Tests respectively.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal missed the first Test after being hospitalized for pneumonia, and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was ruled out before the series.

Herath’s place is likely to be taken by left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.

India will also be handicapped by the one-match ban slapped on Jadeja by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for dangerous play. — Agencies


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