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Sharjah event may shift to Sri Lanka
March 26, 2003 10:33 IST
Organisers of the triangular one-day tournament are in discussions to move the venue from Sharjah to Colombo after South Africa pulled out of the event citing safety concerns.
The South Africans withdrew on Monday following the outbreak of war in Iraq. They had been scheduled to participate in the competition, from April 1 to 10, with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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. If they agree to play in Colombo on the same dates, we can stage the event in Sri Lanka," Qasim Noorani, president of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series, told Reuters on Tuesday.
"Since South Africa are travelling to Bangladesh to play a three-nation tournament, I don't think it will be possible for them to change the dates, but still we are open to all options."
"Nothing can be said with certainty at the moment since we are in consultations with the boards of the three participating countries to try and finalise the dates and venue for the competition," he said.
"The inclusion of a third team in place of South Africa is also a possibility."
South Africa pulled out of the tournament after receiving an advisory from the nation's Department of Foreign Affairs informing the team not to travel.
"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 cricket board, said in a statement on Monday.