Pakistan cricket received a further blow Friday with the cancellation of a tri-series in Dubai scheduled for late March due to the unavailability of the Sri Lankan team, a top official said.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Salim Altaf told AFP that the event would be scrapped.
“We have been told by organisers that the tri-series has been cancelled because, I believe, the Sri Lankan team is unavailable,” said Altaf. The third team was to be Bangladesh. Altaf said he did not know why Sri Lanka could not participate.
The event was part of a nine-million dollar deal with Dubai Sports City last year, which was to provide Pakistan with cricket at neutral venue after foreign teams refused to tour the country over security fears.
Pakistan did not play a single Test last year after Australia postponed a tour in March citing security risks. They rescheduled the tour in two visits — for one-dayers in 2009 and Tests in 2010.
But they refused again to tour Pakistan after Canberra refused permission over fear that players could be targeted because the Australian army is among international troops deployed in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The series will be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 24 to May 7.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also withdrew the eight-nation Champions trophy from Pakistan after three teams refused to tour.
The ICC will decide the new venue in April.
Pakistan cricket suffered another setback when India refused to send its team across the border following heightened tension in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.
Pakistan has admitted that part of the planning for the attacks, which killed 165 people, was done inside Pakistan.