Board rules out replacing Pakistan August 25, 2006

South Africa turn down England approach

Cricinfo staff

Cricket South Africa has announced that it will not be able to send a side to play in England should Pakistan not be able to honour their commitments.

"We were approached by the ECB earlier this week, requesting the Proteas to replace Pakistan should they withdraw from the ODI tournament against England," Gerald Majola, the board's chief executive told reporters. "We have turned down the request on the basis that we are committed to playing against Zimbabwe in the three-match ODI tournament starting next month."

Majola also indicated that South Africa are concluding arrangements to face as yet un-named opposition in Abu Dhabi "`We are looking for extra one-day games and they are almost finalised," he said. "The conditions in Abu Dhabi are very similar to those in India and that will give us the preparation we need for the Champions Trophy.''

England have also been reported to have approached New Zealand and West Indies asking whether they could fill the gap should the need arise.

But West Indies are due to play their opening match in Malaysia on September 12 - two days after the scheduled date for the last ODI in England - and are also likely to find themselves struggling to help out.