Naghmi rules out playing the games at neutral venue

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Sydney, Mar 7 (UNI) Pakistan Cricket Board has ruled out playing the games at neutral venues, outside the South Asian nation, to alleviate Australia's security concerns because it would have long-term implications for cricket.

''Neutral venues are a dangerous option in terms of not benefiting the cricket of both the playing countries as there will be no crowd from both the countries and such series are played for the sake of viewers of TV,'' PCB's chief operating officer, Shafqat Naghmi was qouted as saying by the 'Australian'.

''If we accept it (playing at neutral venues) then in future there will be no end to this practice and it can ruin cricket around the world,'' he said.

''A cricket series not only involves two playing teams but also millions of fans from both sides. There is always huge crowd to witness such encounters and cricket series are not just for the sake of cricket's television viewers,'' he added.

Naghmi said if the ICC was asked to assess safety issues in Pakistan, it would find no reason for which Australia should not tour.

Australian players were unwilling to play in Pakistan and the Australian Cricketers' Association has decided not to send a representative with a pre-tour security delegation.

''All the countries have agreed to come here,'' Naghmi told the Age.''If it comes to that it would be nine countries versus one, in the sense that other countries have been happy to tour Pakistan.

It is only Australia that hasn't come here for many years now.'' ''If they think they cannot tour, we will think about steps to follow at that stage,'' he said. We are bracing ourselves for all decisions. The worst is that they will not come. We will be disappointed, obviously, he added.


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