Thatscricket - News - Pak hopes security team will clear India tour

Published: Saturday, February 7, 2004, 20:42 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan cricket and Interior Ministry officials hope next week's visit by a security delegation from India will clear the way for a historic cricket series between the two countries, the first in Pakistan for 14 years.

"We are ready to welcome the Indian security delegation and are sure that after their visit to Pakistan, some of the misconceptions will be cleared as the ground realities are absolutely contrary to what have been projected about our country," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Ramiz Raja said in a statement on Saturday.

A three-member Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) delegation is due to arrive in Lahore on Monday.

The delegation includes Prof Ratnakar Shetty, Joint Secretary of the BCCI, Yashovardhan Azad, Inspector General of Police, VIP Security Division under India's Ministry of Home Affairs, and Amrit Mathur, Director Communication and Coordination, BCCI.

The PCB is working with country's Interior Ministry to arrange fullproof security arrangements normally reserved for the heads of state to avoid any problems during the three-match Test and five-game One-day series between March 3 and April 15.

The final itinerary of the tour is not expected to be announced before the eight-day visit of the delegation which is the last hurdle needed to clear the tour which has been mired in security problems.

"The PCB has no problems with the Indian delegation coming on a pre-tour visit. It has happened before and the PCB extended full support and co-operation to the visitors. The visit will also provide an excellent opportunity to make minor adjustments according to requirements," said Raja, a former Pakistan captain.

"It is a historic series and the PCB is determined to make it a huge success." The delegation will visit Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Faisalabad and Lahore -- the possible venues for the forthcoming home series against India.

The Tests are likely to be played in March, the first from March 11, the second from March 19 and the third from March 27 but the venues are not yet finalised as Karachi still remains under India's watch list.

The Indian delegation will attend briefings from security agencies. The Indian delegation will also meet Government officials besides discussing matters regarding the forthcoming series.

The Indian and the PCB officials will not be available to media during the tour. However, a joint statement will be released after the conclusion of the visit, the statement said.

BCCI team to arrive in Pakistan on Feb 9

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