No blanket ban against Pak: Government

Published: Monday, April 23, 2001, 21:30 [IST]
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New Delhi: The government has not issued any blanket ban on playing any game against Pakistan though it had decided that India should not play cricket matches at non-regular venues like Sharjah, Toronto and Singapore for at least three years, the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of Parliament, was informed on Monday. In a written reply, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Pon Radhakirishnan said the government had not received any communication from Pakistan on any ban on sporting ties with India. Without elaborating, the Minister said the decision to avoid playing cricket at non-regular venues was taken ''considering all aspects of the issue''. He said, at present, the government had no plan to compensate the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the financial loss suffered by it due to non-participation in these tournaments. The BCCI, he said, was computing its revenue loss arising out of the decision. Earlier this month, the government refused the national cricket team to travel to Sharjah for the tri-nation tournament, also featuring Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and decided that the side should not play at non-regular venues at least for three years. The off-shore venues were viewed with suspicion when allegations of match-fixing flew thick and fast last year, taking the cricketing world by storm. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had strongly reacted to the Indian government's decision and its president Tauqir Zia threatened to avoid playing India at every cricketing venue. Pakistan withdrew at the last moment from the just concluded Commonwealth Table Tennis tournament, played in New Delhi, saying its team had got the permission for visa from the Indian government too late.

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