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 Monday, 23 December, 2002, 14:50 GMT
Pakistan given double boost
Yousuf Youhana fielding in Cape Town
Pakistan are currently touring South Africa
The Pakistan Cricket Board has been boosted by the news that South Africa and Bangladesh will tour next year.

They say they have written confirmation that both teams will plays Tests in Pakistan and take part in a triangular one-day competition between September and November.

The PCB claim they have lost $20m to $25m over the past year because of cancelled tours.

They were forced to play 'home' series against West Indies and Australia at neutral venues, and a Test against New Zealand was cancelled in April after a bomb explosion in Karachi.

A triangular one-day series was switched to Kenya in September.

"The confirmation from these two teams shows that Pakistan's effort to convince the cricket world that it is safe to play in Pakistan, in conjunction with the International Cricket Council (ICC), has paid off.

"The visit by the ICC delegation to Pakistan earlier this month, I think, has played a major role in clearing doubts over the security situation in Pakistan," said PCB chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia.

"The ICC basically has cleared Pakistan of being a security hazard for touring teams."

Pakistan are still hoping to host a scheduled series against arch-rivals India in April, even though the Indian government insists it will not sanction the tour.

The two sides have not met each other for over two years with their governments at loggerheads over disputed territory in Kashmir.

The ICC, meanwhile, has urged the two sides to consider playing at neutral venues in the hope of ending the boycott.

Pakistan struggle to attract touring teams

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