Cricket will carry on as normal and tours by visiting countries should not be affected despite the imposition of a state of emergency by the country's president General Pervez Musharraf, said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The President, who is also the patron of the PCB, declared an emergency yesterday, suspending the constitution and imposing restrictions on the media. It initially sparked concern that Pakistan's ongoing tour to India might be affected but that scenario was ruled out immediately by the board.
The board maintains that Pakistan's cricket will carry on as per schedule, even though it isn't yet clear how long emergency rule will remain in force for. Analysts and reports suggest it may last till general elections are held, most likely to be during January next year.
Zimbabwe are due to visit that month for a series of five ODIs while Australia make their first trip to Pakistan in ten years in March. Pakistan will also host the Asia Cup soon after the Australia tour. "Cricket will not be affected in any way. The government is running as normal and so is cricket," Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman,
"We believe in fact that with this situation, the law and order, and security situation will be even better. Sport in the past has never been affected and no sports event has ever been targeted in Pakistan. Our forthcoming international commitments should go ahead as planned," he said.
Pakistan is also set to host the ICC Champions Trophy in September-October 2008 and a delegation from the game's governing body, was in the country to inspect various venues and facilities. But they have curtailed the trip after the events of last night, though an ICC official was keen to stress that they will be back soon to complete their assessment.
The delegation arrived on Friday and began their session on Saturday by visiting venues in Lahore and Sheikhupura where practice matches for the tournament might be held. They were due to visit Rawalpindi tonight and Karachi tomorrow.
"We decided to abort the tour due to the situation in the country," an ICC official "But we have done so with an assurance that we will be back to complete it as soon as the situation becomes a little clearer.
"It is too early to say as the event is still nearly a year away, but as far as we are concerned the tournament is definitely on. We had some healthy discussions with the PCB and we will be back as soon as possible to complete the tour."