LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed disappointment Wednesday after Ireland cancelled a scheduled tour following a militant siege on Karachi airport that left 37 people dead, dashing hopes of reviving international cricket following a five year hiatus.
A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman said arrangements for a three-match series with associate team Ireland were close to being finalised. “Ireland team was due to play three one-day matches in Lahore in the first week of September and a lot of effort had gone into convincing them. But all efforts have gone in vain again,” PCB spokesman Agha Akbar told AFP.
Earlier, Ireland had been willing to tour Pakistan, if they were provided satisfactory safety and security. However, their plans have been stalled due to the terrorist attacks in and around Karachi airport,
"Cricket Ireland and the PCB were in advanced discussions to play three ODIs in Pakistan in September," Barry Chambers, Cricket Ireland's spokesperson told ESPN cricinfo.
"Cricket Ireland is obviously very keen to secure as many fixtures as possible against Full Members, and these proposed games would have been very beneficial ahead of the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup," Chambers said.
This had been discussed by the respective chairman and CEOs during the course of the past three weeks and had also included contact with ICC, security advisors and government.
Following a preliminary agreement, it was decided that three games would be played between the two teams, subject to a security review by credible experts, as well as a mutual agreement from the players and staff. However, the series will now be held at a later date because of the deadly assault on Karachi airport.
Pakistan has not hosted an international cricket team to tour the country since 2009 when the Sri Lanka cricket team was attacked by gunmen in Lahore.
No Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since then and the team has been forced to play its ‘home’ matches at neutral venues.
More on this: Ireland 'very willing' to tour Pakistan: Cricket Ireland