ECB given security pledge

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England's cricketers will rely on their own security advisers to judge the feasibility of playing next month's scheduled one-day international in Karachi following yesterday's fatal bomb blast in the city.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has received an assurance from its Pakistani counterpart that security measures will provide an impenetrable ring of steel around the team and has been urged not to change the agreed schedule.

"Blasts are part and parcel of life these days," the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, said. "If Australia can play in England despite the London bombings and Sri Lanka can play in India despite the Delhi bomb, then England can also play."

England play Pakistan a month today at the National Stadium in Karachi in the third fixture of a five-match series. Those arrangements still stand at this stage even though the bomb went off in the immediate vicinity of a hotel the tourists are booked to stay in. At least three people were killed and another 12 injured by the explosion at a KFC restaurant.

An England statement read: "The ECB is awaiting a full report on the bomb blast in Karachi. In the meantime, the board will continue to liaise closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Pakistan Cricket Board and other relevant authorities."

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