ECB delegation to visit Pakistan for talks over security concerns

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The Independent Online

The England and Wales Cricket Board will send a high-level security delegation next week to inspect the venues and security arrangements for England's tour of Pakistan, which begins in October.

The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that the England and Wales Cricket Board had informed them that a two-man security delegation will be joined by one of their senior officials. The ECB officials will then hold talks with the PCB and government officials to finalise the tour itinerary.

England have raised concerns about playing a Test match in Karachi because of terrorism in the city. But the PCB have made it clear that they are unlikely to omit Karachi as a Test venue and will try to convince the ECB it is safe to play in the country's biggest city.

England arrive in Pakistan on 22 October to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and matches against provincial sides yet to be decided.

The ECB delegation will visit all the venues proposed by the PCB and meet Interior Ministry and high-ranking police officials. They will also travel to Karachi and meet the High Commissioner in Islamabad.

On the domestic front, Somerset have released their former West Indies pace bowler Nixon McLean because of fitness problems. The 31-year-old, who had previously played for the county as an overseas player, returned to Taunton this year under the Kolpak ruling.

McLean, whose appearances since April had been limited, has left the club with immediate effect. Somerset's director of cricket, Brian Rose, said: "Regretfully, continuing fitness problems have affected Nixon's ability to perform on the field and the uncertainty of whether this situation would improve has led the club to make this decision. Somerset County Cricket Club wish Nixon and his family well in the future."

Leicestershire have signed the 21-year-old right-arm fast bowler Ryan Cummins following his graduation from Loughborough University.