The Pakistan Cricket Board has switched the venues for two of the ODIs against South Africa, citing a lack of cricket facilities in Peshawar and Rawalpindi as reason for the change. However, sources close to the PCB said the fragile security situation in both cities was behind the decision.
The match previously fixed for Peshawar will now be played at Lahore, while the game scheduled to take place at Rawalpindi will take place at Karachi.
While Zakir Khan, the PCB's director of operations, insisted there as no issue with security, it is widely reported that the South Africans had expressed concern. Peshawar has been a security concern for foreigners with its close proximity to Afghan border, while a spate of suicide bomb attacks have targeted security forces in the north west since the government raided a radical mosque in Islamabad, which is close to Rawalpindi, last month.
Khan maintained the stadium at Peshawar lacked international-level facilities. "A PCB official has ascertained facilities in Peshawar which were not as per the international standards and that's why we shifted the match. As far as the Rawalpindi match was concerned, the stadium there too needs some refurbishment and we hope to get it ready for next year's Champions Trophy."