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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 14:30 GMT
SA pull out of Sharjah
South Africa have pulled out of the Sharjah Cup because of the Iraq conflict.

The tournament, which also includes Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is due to start in the United Arab Emirates in eight days' time.

But on Monday, the United Cricket Board of South Africa said its squad would not make the trip on safety grounds.

Chief executive Gerald Majola said: "We value our players and officials and we cannot continue with the tour when there is concern about their safety.

"We received an advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs informing us not to travel to the Gulf region under the current circumstances prevailing there.

"We are, however, engaged in discussions with the tournament organisers as to possible alternative venues and or dates for the tournament to be held."

We do not see any security risks in Sharjah
Tournament organiser
Zahid Noorani

Despite South Africa's withdrawal, Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Samiul Hasan has confirmed Rashid Latif's side will be travelling to the United Arab Emirates.

Tournament organisers are already holding talks to save the triangular series in some format.

Zahid Noorani, chief executive of Cricketers Benefit Fund Series, told the BBC Sport website: "We are in discussions with the three boards about rescheduling dates and venues.

"At the moment there is not much detail. We are looking at possible alternatives and back up plans. We will know by Tuesday once we have had discussions with all the parties.

"We do not see any security risks in Sharjah."

The CBFS also owns Tangiers Cricket Stadium, where Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka played the Morocco Cup last August.

UCB communications director Moabi Litheko
"It's important we don't jeopardise anyone's life"

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