India to play Pak in WC, no revival of bilateral ties

Published: Saturday, January 4, 2003, 19:01 [IST]
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Chennai: Union Sports Minister Vikram Verma on Saturday maintained that Indo-Pak cricket series will not be revived unless Pakistan gives up "cross-border terrorism," but said India will play its matches against that country in multinational tournaments including the coming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

The Centre's decision not to play against Pakistan either in India or Pakistan or in any neutral venue was taken as part of a strategy to prevail upon Pakistan to give up cross-border terrorism. "There is no question of reviving the series now, or after the World Cup," he told reporters. However, he said India will play Pakistan in multinational tournaments, making it clear that the country will play against Pakistan in the World Cup, to be held in venues in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

India has been drawn in Pool 'A' along with Pakistan and the match is scheduled to be held on March 1 at the Centurion. On the British and Australian governments asking their teams not to play their matches in Zimbabwe, citing security reasons, he said India would play its World Cup cricket matches in Zimbabwe. "When that country is playing matches here, why should we not play there," he asked.

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