PCB hopes Asia Cup passes smoothly

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Lahore, Jun 24 (UNI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hoping that the Asia Cup passes smoothly to pave the way for more international cricket in the country in future.

The Asia Cup serves as a dress rehearsal for Pakistan's hosting of the eight-nation ICC (International Cricket Council) Champions Trophy in September.

Several foreign teams, led by Australia who postponed a Test and one-day tour to Pakistan in March-April this year, are considering a boycott of the Champions Trophy over safety concerns.

Pakistan has been hit by political upheaval and a wave of suicide bombings in the past year, which have claimed more than 1,000 lives, although the violence has tailed off in recent months.

However, if Pakistan stages the Asia Cup without any trouble then foreign teams will be left with little choice other than to take part in the Champions Trophy.

The ICC last week gave Pakistan the all-clear for the September tournament but said it will continue to monitor the situation.

The six-nation Asia cup begins today with the hosts facing minnows Hongkong while Bangladesh will play against UAE.

UNI XC CS AB KP1136

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