The ICC has announced that the Women's World Cup Qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in Pakistan between November 19 and 25, have been postponed.
The decision was arrived at after ICC management and the ICC women's committee assessed independent security reports following the weekend's imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan.
A decision on where and when the tournament will be played will be taken in due course but Mag4you.com understands that the tournament will need to be rescheduled within a six-month period and is likely to take place in the southern hemisphere.
"It is extremely regrettable this decision has had to be taken," Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, said. "We remain committed to international cricket being played in Pakistan but, sadly, events beyond the control of the ICC and the PCB have conspired against us on this occasion.
"As recently as 25 October, the ICC women's committee reaffirmed its commitment to staging the event, as scheduled, in Lahore. However, the heightened state of tension within the country over the past few days represents a change in circumstances that we have a duty to consider.
"Safety and security of all participants is a priority and on the basis of the independent advice we have received - as well as the material concerns expressed by many of the participating countries - we concluded it is not appropriate to stage the tournament at this time."
But the decision appeared to irritate Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan board chairman, who made it clear he felt the decision was premature. "We have advised the ICC we feel the event could have been staged as scheduled in two weeks' time in a safe and secure environment," he said. "We remain more than capable of and committed to hosting international cricket and we look forward to welcoming teams to Pakistan in the future."
The tournament was to have involved eight teams - Bermuda, Ireland, Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, and Zimbabwe - with the top two sides going forward to the Women's World Cup in Australia in 2009.
A statement from the Bermuda board said: "The safety of the squad members are of paramount importance." The various recommendations of the stakeholders and security experts will be considered at the executive meeting on Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for Ireland Mag4you.com that it was "definitely the right decision for all concerned".