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|BCCI delegation continues to inspect venues|
Saturday, February 14 2004 12:34 Hrs (IST)
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials said that the Indian delegation comprising Inspector General Security Division Home Department, Yashovardhan Azad, Prof R S Shetty, secretary BCCI and director communications, BCCI Amrit Mathur visited Multan Cricket Stadium, which is considered to be the best in Pakistan.
The Indian officials have so far visited Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Karachi and on Friday, they visited Multan and Faisalabad stadiums located in Pakistan Punjab province.
They are scheduled to return to Lahore on Saturday to inspect the Gaddafi Stadium and wind up their tour on Feb 12 with a crucial final meeting with the Pakistan security as well as PCB officials, where Pakistan was expected to make a strong case against the postponement.
Meanwhile, PCB Chief Shaharyar Khan reportedly presided over a meeting of top Government officials in Lahore to finalise the strategy for dealing with a possible postponement of the series.
Besides firmly opposing the postponement, PCB is also expected to convey its strong opposition to any suggestion to relocate the series in Sri Lanka or any third country.
As the Indian media reports quoted Home Ministry officials for a likely postponement of the series, there was perceptible nervousness among the officials of the PCB and the Pakistan Foreign office as the crucial India-Pakistan official level talks to discuss the modalities of the resumption of the composite dialogue begins in Islamabad on February 13, the day the three Indian officials leave for New Delhi.
PCB officials believe that India would not take the risk of postponing the tour as it could affect the goodwill generated by the thaw in the relations between the twocountries following the April initiative by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"I am sure the Indian Government would consider the outrage that could be caused in Pakistan by any decision to postpone the Indian tour," a top PCB official said.
Significantly, the Indian High Commissioner, Shivshankar Menon would leave for Lahore on Saturday on a two-day visit to take part in the on-going Basant festival.
Though Menon was slated to take part in the final meeting between PCB officials and the Indian official team, he would be on hand for consultations by both sides. Indian High Commission officials said Menon would informally meet the Indian team before it's meeting with PCB. Also, PCB officials, including Khan, may call on him as well.
Pak rules out playing at a neutral venue