Ireland’s proposed September tour of Pakistan has been aborted, following an attack that killed 37 people in Karachi on Sunday.
After the attacks at Jinnah International Airport last weekend, Cricket Ireland confirmed their withdrawal from any potential tour of Pakistan later this year.
A spokesman said: “There had been a preliminary agreement to play three games subject to a security review.
“With the recent tragic events at Karachi airport, the series will now be deferred to a later date."
While preparations for the tour hasn’t yet been set in stone, it was close to being finalised and added to the international cricketing calendar.
Three one-day matches were scheduled to be played, but this latest security breach means that Pakistan’s wait to play international cricket on home turf will go on for even longer.
The last team to tour the country were Sri Lanka in 2009. That tour was marred by an attack on the team’s bus, in which gunmen injured seven players, as well as coaching staff, police and a driver.
Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakarra and co were only on that tour because India had pulled out of a proposed visit to their neighbours due to concerns regarding safety.
For the last five years, Pakistan have been forced to play their home matches in the United Arab Emirates, eliminating any advantage that could be gained by vocal supporters in the crowd.
If a one-day series is rescheduled to be played on neutral territory, then the Irish may fancy their chances of pulling off an upset.
The associate nation were famous victors against Pakistan during the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, announcing the emerald isle’s arrival on the international stage.
The sides have met since that memorable giant killing, and Ireland were able to prove that it hadn’t been a sheer fluke the first time around, when they met in Dublin last year.
A two-match ODI series was contested, with the hosts managing to earn a tie in one of the games.
Ireland are not the only team that has been approached by Pakistan to tour the country.
In 2012, Bangladesh – not once, but twice – turned down the opportunity to participate in a limited-overs series after having security concerns.
Earlier this summer, Sri Lanka were invited on another trip to the fellow subcontinent nation.
The country’s president, Mahinda Rajapakse, assured Pakistan that a team would be sent. However, it looks as though international games may have to remain at neutral venues for the foreseeable future.
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