~~WI should reconsider neutral ground call~~

Published: Saturday, January 5, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad: Cricket legend Clive Lloyd said on Saturday he hoped the West Indies would reconsider its demand for January's Test series against Pakistan to be played on neutral grounds because of regional tensions.

"No country would like to play its series on neutral venues. I hope both Pakistan and West Indies Boards talk to each other and settle the matter," Lloyd told reporters. Last week the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) demanded the series be played at a neutral venue such as Sharjah or Dhaka out of security concerns. On Saturday Bangladesh offered to host the three Test and three One-day International series, which is due to begin on January 25. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia last week said WICB president Wes Hall had promised he would consult Lloyd who is currently in Pakistan about the security situation. "Obviously it's difficult for Pakistan to give full guarantee but we (West Indies) have been here before when there were some problems," said Lloyd, who led the West Indies on tour to Pakistan in 1974-75 and 1980-81. "The situation may be a little tense but a week or so after this may lead to improvement," he said. The former West Indies skipper is set to return to the Caribbean on January 7 after a short coaching stint with Pakistan's youngsters in preparation for this month's Junior World Cup in New Zealand. A respected figure in international cricket, Lloyd played 110 Tests and 87 One-day International for West Indies, leading them to two World Cup titles in 1975 and 1979.

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