PCB fears sponsors deserting it in wake of Lahore terror attack

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Karachi, Mar.10 (ANI): Cricket starved Pakistan is also likely to be snubbed by the sponsors after last week's terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed fears that major sponsors might backtrack from their deals with the board in the wake of the Lahore terror attack.

"Our major sponsors in Pakistan, who support cricket, are bound to rethink their sponsorship deals if we can't have international cricket in the country," The News quoted PCB's chief operating officer Saleem Altaf, as saying.

It is unlikely that Pakistan will host any international cricketing event in the near future, and the sponsors who were already perturbed by a series of tour cancellations may ultimately bid a final good-bye to the game, as for them it is not financially feasible to put money into the game in these difficult circumstances.

Foreign teams have refused to visit Pakistan due to security concerns in recent times. First, it was Australia who called off a Test tour last April. Then the Champions Trophy was shifted. Finally, India also cancelled its tour to Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Altaf said that Pakistan lost 20 million dollars in estimated revenues when India cancelled its tour.

"The PCB is now likely to incur increased costs for staging home series at neutral venues and finding suitable sponsors," he said.

To stir-up interest of people and attract sponsors, the board has made participation of star national players in domestic events mandatory, but until international cricket returns to Pakistan, the PCB can not hope to revive its sagging accounts. (ANI)

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