Thatscricket - News - Pak assures Indian delegation of 'full-proof' security

Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2004, 6:05 [IST]
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Islamabad:Pakistani authorities assured India's visiting delegation of "full-proof" security for the forthcoming ice-breaking cricket series between the two countries, officials said.

The three-member team, which includes security expert Yashovardhan Azad, held detailed discussions with top Pakistani interior ministry official Tasneem Noorani.

The Indian officials are also due to visit Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Karachi and Peshawar, where One-day matches as well as Tests will be played during the Indian team's tour from March 3 to April 15.

"We assured our guests that Pakistan is making full-proof security arrangements and there is no cause for any sort of worry," Noorani said after the meeting.

In addition, he said a security officer would be appointed to liaise with the Indian team.

India's cricket tour to Pakistan will be the first for 14 years. They are due to play three Test matches and five-match One-dayers, but some high-profile Indian players have expressed concerns over security.

Following the Indian team's return from its tour to Australia, captain Sourav Ganguly said: "We are not worried about the Pakistan tour, but we are worried about the security."

Newspapers in India have reported that Ganguly's family, and that of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, were reluctant for them to tour Pakistan due to fears over their safety.

In October last year, India lifted a bilateral ban imposed in 2000 on cricket matches against Pakistan.

Karachi and Peshawar features prominently in the delegations' list, as venues in both cities were discarded for hosting matches by South Africa and New Zealand last year due to security fears.

The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would only finalise the tour's itinerary after its delegation had submitted its assessment report, due next week.

Australia and the West Indies refused to play in Pakistan in 2002 due to security fears after the US-led strikes in neighbouring Afghanistan in 2001.

New Zealand was forced to abandon its tour of Pakistan in 2002 after a bomb blast outside the team hotel in Karachi on the morning of a Test match.

But matches by Bangladesh, South Africa and New Zealand this season went ahead without trouble in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) awarded the lucrative title sponsorship of the series to South Korean multi national firm Samsung, officials said.

Players awaiting BCCI delegation's report

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