Pak eagerly awaits Indian team visit: Menon

Published: Friday, January 30, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan is eagerly awaiting India's cricket team as the hype builds for the March-April series that is the hope for revived sporting ties, India's ambassador to Pakistan said.

"The hype is building up in both India and Pakistan and the Indian team is eagerly awaited in Pakistan which is a very positive sign," Menon said while talking to reporters in southern port city of Karachi on Thursday.

India is scheduled to play a side game, three Tests and five One-day games on the tour, their first in Pakistan after some 14 years.

"It's a positive sign that cricket is being revived and both the Boards are working to sort out the details and a security team is arriving," Menon said.

India is sending a three-member delegation to asses security for the tour after which a final itinerary would be announced.

"Cricket is one of the confidence building measures and can add to the peace process both countries have initiated, and as a keen follower of the game I keep my fingers crossed for exciting cricket," said the 53-year-old diplomat.

Menon stressed the importance of sporting tours like the school cricket held in India last year.

"I was amazed when last year a school cricket team toured Pakistan when there was no train and plane service and young people should have more exchanges like that so as to create a great understanding in the next generation," he said.

India stalled all bilateral cricketing relations with Pakistan following an attack on Indian parliament in December 2001 and only allowed its team to compete against Pakistan in multi-national events like the World Cup.

In October last year New Delhi lifted the ban in one of the confidence building measures that were part of recent peace process and gave permission to its team to undertake a tour to Pakistan.

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