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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Sport in Asia put on hold
Pakistan's cricket team has seen tours cancelled
Sport in Asia faces an uncertain financial future as the world awaits America's expected military strikes against Afghanistan.

A number of international events on the Indian sub-continent have already been cancelled, costing millions of pounds in missed sponsorship opportunities.

Pakistan has seen two money-spinning cricket tours called off and officials have postponed the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in the wake of the attacks in New York and Washington.

Sport has taken a backseat in the prevailing situation and the sub-continent is bearing the brunt
Senior Indian official

The inaugural Afro-Asian games, which were scheduled to take place in India in November, have also been put back because of security concerns.

It now seems likely the Games may not be held at all because the government is reportedly wary of spending 24m on an event that is not well supported.

And now Kuwait has called off the second West Asian Games because of tensions in the area.

"Due to the current circumstances in the region and to ensure the highest level of success for the tournament, the Kuwait Olympic committee decided to postpone the second West Asian Games in Kuwait," said a spokesman.

Deprived of action

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also face the prospect of the West Indies and Zimbabwe cancelling scheduled cricket tours.

"Sport has taken a backseat in the prevailing situation and the sub-continent is bearing the brunt," said a senior Indian sports official

"Baseball may have resumed in the US but it appears we will be deprived of action in the near future."

The cash-strapped Pakistan Cricket Board has been among the hardest hit with New Zealand calling off a scheduled Test tour.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka may not play the West Indies

That followed the loss of a 10m sponsorship deal because of India's refusal to restore cricketing ties with its neighbour.

Pakistan is now hoping a one-day series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe goes ahead in Sharjah at the end of October.

There have been reports Pakistan has asked Sri Lanka to fill the void left by New Zealand but that seems unlikely to happen as tensions rise on the border with Afghanistan.

India has been less affected with its cricket team currently on a two-month tour of South Africa but a home series against England in November and December could be affected.

Other events due to take place in India include the world tennis doubles championships in Bangalore in November, the World Open squash in Bombay in December and the ATP Indian Open tennis in Madras in January.

Organisers are confident all three events will go ahead but one said: "Who can predict what the future has in store for us?"

See also:

25 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
The show must go on
19 Sep 01 |  SOL
Sport counting the cost
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