Ireland tour to Pakistan called off after Karachi airport attack

Ireland's plans to play three one-day internationals in the Pakistani city of Lahore in September have been cancelled following Sunday's attack in Karachi that left 37 dead.

Cricket Ireland confirmed talks had been at an advanced stage.

"There had been a preliminary agreement to play three games subject to a security review," said a spokesman.

No international teams have travelled to Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Cricket Ireland added that the games had been subject to a "security review by credible experts, and agreement from the players and staff, which would have been the next stage of the process".

"With the recent tragic events are Karachi airport, the series will now be deferred to a later date," concluded the Cricket Ireland statement.

Karachi has been a target for many attacks by the Taliban

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that arrangements for a three-match series with the associate nation had been close to being finalised.

"A lot of effort had gone into convincing them, but all efforts have gone in vain again," said PCB spokesman Agha Akbar.

Ireland memorably defeated Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup in Jamaica and the sides most recently played two one-day matches in Dublin last year when the Irish held the visitors to a tie in one of the games.

The 2009 attack, which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players, forced Pakistan to play all its home matches in neutral venues within the United Arab Emirates.

The PCB had twice convinced Bangladesh to tour in 2012 but the short, limited-over series failed to take place because of security fears.

Pakistan last month sent an invitation to Sri Lanka Cricket for a short series in Pakistan after the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse assured them he would send the team.

Sri Lanka Cricket said it would consider and reply to the invitation after consultations but reports suggest no series will take place this year.