Relief for Ten Sports as SA agrees to revised Pak tour

MUMBAI: The Pakistan cricket calendar which looked like a dead loss for the Abdul Rehman Bukhatir-promoted Ten Sports channel has received a fresh lease of life.

Graeme Smith and company have agreed to a modified version of the tour which kicks off next month. Last week, South Africa had decided to cancel their tour to Pakistan on account of the recent bomb blasts. However, following talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who threatened to sue them for damages in the range of $7 million, the South Africans have had a change of heart.

Now a decision has been taken by the PCB to not host matches in Karachi and Peshawar which are close to the Afghanistan border as those areas are still experiencing a great deal of tension.

One Test match has been struck off the itinerary. Two Tests and five one-day matches will take place in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faislabad.

For a while now, however, Ten Sports has to satisfy itself with showing the likes of the Bangladesh tour to Pakistan, what with the Kiwis having cancelled theirs last year. Of course, the big question is whether India will go ahead and visit Pakistan next year. If that happens the channel can still hope to recoup the Pakistan investment.

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