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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

PCB chief fears divide in cricket

Kevin Pietersen
England left their tour of India because of security concerns

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has warned of a damaging split in world cricket as a result of the recent terror attacks and security threats.

England's one-dayers in India were cut short and the two Tests scheduled for December are under threat following the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Pakistan have also suffered from teams refusing to tour.

"If certain countries play separately with two sets of rules it will be a dangerous situation," he told the BBC.

"It's a mutual thing. If they don't come we won't go. You cannot have separate pockets with England only playing Australia," Butt told BBC World Service's Sportsworld programme.

"We have to agree something. It has to be with all Test countries. You can't have four Test countries playing each other and the other four playing separately as well.

"To continue to not participate in cricket in this part of the world in India and Sri Lanka, then it will be very difficult."

India's Champions League cricket tournament was cancelled last week following events in Mumbai.

Pakistan have also had to deal with sides refusing to play there because of security threats with the Champions Trophy postponed there in September.

The Pakistan Test side have also not played a series since December 2007 and their visit by India in January is unlikely to take place.

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who played 168 Tests and retired in 2004, believes the state of the game is precarious.

SillyPoint_Over a StickyWicket

"The danger to cricket is that the game needs India and any long-term interruption will have major ramifications," Waugh said.

"At present we have Pakistan cricket crippled by the threat of terrorism, Sri Lanka regularly blighted by a civil war and Zimbabwe mismanaged by corrupt administrators and government.

"The game is on the verge of a crisis and clear concise thinking will be required from the various cricketing bodies to make sure that the correct decisions are made."

Waugh, though, was hopeful that the sport could bounce back in India, despite the postponement of England's limited-overs series and the Twenty20 Champions League.

"My gut feeling is that cricket will see an interruption in the short term but business will resume as normal shortly afterwards," he added.

"The game of cricket in India is a way of life and a symbol of hope and, as such, it has the ability to restore faith and instil confidence."

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see also
India tour of Pakistan 'unlikely'
29 Nov 08 |  Pakistan
Cricketer escapes terror attack
28 Nov 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia
Champions League cricket on hold
27 Nov 08 |  Cricket
Mumbai hotel 'under army control'
28 Nov 08 |  South Asia
India in Pakistan 2008-09
24 Sep 08 |  Cricket

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