Johannesburg, Aug 27 (UNI) Despite taking the initiative not to tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy which forced the ICC to postpone the event until October next year, the South Africa Cricket Board said its decision will not hamper the relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
While reacting to reports of PCB's dismay at South Africa becoming the first country to refuse to participate in the tournament, chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Gerald Majola, said, ''There is no way that the relationship between us and Pakistan has been damaged.'' ''Everybody understands our position. In fact, we withdrew from other tours and that did not hamper out relations with the boards. I cannot see that would happen with Pakistan,'' he said.
Last year, South Africa had expressed concern during a tour of Pakistan when bombs exploded near the hotel in which the visiting team was staying.
However, an editor of a Pakistani cricket website reacted to South Africa's decision calling it ''inconsistent and at worst hypocritical.'' ''They came last October when the situation was as, if not more, unstable than it is now. They even stayed after the first attempt on Benazir Bhutto's life, and weeks before they arrived, the siege of Lal Masjid had just ended. Days after they left, a state of emergency was announced, indicating just how turbulent things were,'' Samiuddin, the editor, said on the website.
He further lashed out at South African captain Graeme Smith, who played for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL series recently, saying, ''Incidentally, it was players from these countries who didn't mind the bombs in Jaipur during the IPL.'' UNI XC PY RAR AS1656