View Full Version : Sharjah tourney may move to Sri Lanka

March 25, 2003, 06:41 PM
Reuters/AFP, Colombo

Organisers of a triangular one-day tournament are in discussions to move the venue from Sharjah to Colombo after South Africa pulled out of the event because of safety concerns.
The South Africans withdrew on Monday following the outbreak of war in Iraq. They had been scheduled to play in the competition with Pakistan and Sri Lanka from April 1 to 10.

Sri Lanka's team manager Ajith Jayasekera said he had been told the tournament had been cancelled but officials in Sharjah are trying to move the venue to Sri Lanka.

"At the moment we are negotiating with the United Cricket Board of South Africa and if they agree to play in Colombo on the same dates, we can stage our event in Sri Lanka," Qasim Noorani, president of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series, said on Tuesday.

"Since South Africa are travelling to Bangladesh to play a three-nation tournament there, I don't think it will be possible for them to change the dates, but still we are open to all options.

"We would look at trying to get either Kenya or Zimbabwe to replace them.

"We will know more on Wednesday night after talks are at a more advanced stage."

Vincent Hogg, managing director of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, said no contact had been made by CBFS.

"This is news to me, but if we were to be asked then it is something the board would have to look at closely," Hogg said.

"But I couldn't pre-empt any decision now as there has been no contact yet."

South Africa pulled out of the tournament after receiving an advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"We value our players and officials and we cannot continue with the tour when there is concern about their safety," Gerald Majola, chief executive of the South Africa board, said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said it will not call off the Sharjah trip despite the withdrawal of South Africa.

"Pakistan has no plans to pull out of the tournament even though we have been informed by the organisers that South Africa has withdrawn its team because of the Iraq war," Pakistan cricket board (PCB) spokesman Samiul Hasan told Reuters.