Tri-series likely to be called off

The proposed tri-series in South Africa, also involving Pakistan and probably Sri Lanka, is likely to be called off. The Pakistan Cricket Board was trying to arrange the tournament to fill the gap in the schedule caused by the postponement of the Champions Trophy.

Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, confirmed that the event was facing several roadblocks. "A CSA official asked us for details on the proposal," he told the News. "He did say that South Africa's leading players were not interested in playing in a series immediately after their tour of England."

As for the PCB's next course of action, Naghmi said: "We are working on several options and will decide in the next few days as to which idea is the most feasible."

South Africa's coach Mickey Arthur had expressed concerns that fatigue was hampering his team's progress after their 4-0 loss to England in the recent one-day series. He also said he believed the tri-series was an unlikely starter.

"I'm sure the tri-series is not going to take place and, in retrospect, it's a relief the Champions Trophy was called off because we would have been back on a plane flying to Pakistan on Sunday," Arthur said. "I'd like the administrators to remember the team is our product and because they've done so marvellously well it has led to commercial opportunities. But I don't think we should be flogging a dead horse."