The Afghan team, arriving in Islamabad on May 24, is being coached by former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif. - AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket authorities on Thursday pulled a one-day match against Afghanistan which had been scheduled to take place in Abbottabad, the town where US forces shot dead Osama bin Laden.

The match, the third in a series between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s second team, attracted media attention for being hosted in Abbottabad and has been relocated to Islamabad.

Afghanistan, the first international team to tour Pakistan in more than two years after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in March 2009, will now play matches in Islamabad on May 25, Rawalpindi on May 27 and Faisalabad on May 29.

“The itinerary... has been revised and now the Abbottabad match will be played in Islamabad on May 25,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

No official reason was given for the decision which was taken at a meeting on Thursday between PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Sohail Tanveer will lead Pakistan’s ‘A’ team, comprising of young players who have either been left out of the first team or are being nurtured as future talent.

The Afghan team, coached by former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, will arrive in Islamabad on May 24.

The war-ravaged nation has made rapid strides in international cricket, progressing in 2009 from ICC (International Cricket Council) division one to five, and securing one-day status the same year.

Afghanistan qualified for last year’s World Twenty20 in the West Indies and also won the ICC Inter-Continental Cup in 2010, meant for countries who are not full ICC members.

They beat Pakistan in the semi-final of last year’s Asian Games in China and went on to win a silver medal after losing to Bangladesh in the final.

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