Abbottabad removed as venue of Pakistan-Afghanistan cricket series

"The itinerary of Afghanistan national team's tour has been revised and now the Abbottabad match will be played in Islamabad on May 25," the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

The PCB didn't give any official reason but a top official in the board told IANS that it was taken at the behest of Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik.

"Malik asked the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to take away the match from Abbottabad which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since Osama's killing," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The sleepy town of Abbottabad shot into limelight after Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed there by American forces earlier this month.

Afghanistan is the first international team to tour Pakistan in more than two years after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in March 2009 in Lahore. The PCB had initially decided to have Abbottabad as one of the venues of a ground-breaking series between Afghanistan and Pakistan A team.

Afghanistan will play their first match in Islamabad May 25, Rawalpindi May 27 and Faisalabad May 29.

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