Pakistan Cricket Board Insurance to Cover Possible Australia Pullout

January 23, 2008

The Pakistan Cricket Board has taken out insurance cover to meet possible financial losses should Australia pull out of its scheduled tour starting March due to security fears.

“We have insured the series with a company in Britain on a very minimum premium of just five percent,” PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf said. He did not reveal amount of the insurance cover.

Pakistan is scheduled to host Australia for the first time Mark Taylor’s team toured in 1997-98. Several Australian players have reportedly expressed their reluctance to take part given the country’s current instability.

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Dec. 27, triggering nationwide riots, while Islamic militants have been blamed for 20 suicide bombings in the past three months, killing some 400 people.

“Providing security to the visiting team is the responsibility of the home board and we are sure that cricket has no threat in Pakistan,” Ashraf said.

“Pakistan is as safe as any other country in the world,” he added.

Pakistan is currently hosting Zimbabwe for a five-match limited-overs series and Ashraf hoped that if the series went smoothly it would help remove any security fears.

So far the PCB has not finalized Australia’s itinerary, but Ashraf said the schedule would be completed within a month. He said the southern port city of Karachi, which has witnessed terrorist activity in the past, will be one of the venues.

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