Lawson fearful for Champions Trophy says Oz setting bad example

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Karachi, Mar 13 (UNI) After Australia postponed it's tour of Pakistan, coach Geoff Lawson has expressed fears that other teams might follow the world champions and could possibly have a negative effect on the Champions Trophy that the sub-continent nation is scheduled to host in September this year.

''I'm fearful for the Champions Trophy,'' Lawson told mediapersons here yesterday.

''The Australians have set a bad example by opting out of the (Pakistan) tour and I'm not sure whether they would come here for the Champions Trophy,'' he added.

Earlier, Lawson, a former Australian fast bowler, had expressed his displeasure over CA's decision to postpone their tour of Pakistan but is hopeful that the repercussions would not be worse than the present situation.

''It would be highly unfortunate if that happens because cricket is so important for Pakistan,'' he said.

He, however, was hopeful that Pakistan will not be denied to host this year's one of the most prestigious tournamnet, ICC Champions Trophy.

''Hopefully, things will get better and the tournament will be held in Pakistan according to schedule.'' Earlier this year, the ICC was forced to take away the Women's World Cup Qualifiers from Pakistan after competing teams raised safety concerns. The tournament was later held in South Africa.

Pakistan has been able to play only one series this year so far when they hosted Zimbabwe in which the hosts blanked visitors 5-0.

Since Australia will not tour this month, the Bangladeshis, on Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) request, have agreed to play five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game in April.

''It's great to know that Bangladesh have no security concerns.

They can be a tough team to beat,'' he added.

UNI XC RAR BST1310

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