Thatscricket - News - 'Matches should be played with sportsmanship'

Published: Thursday, February 19, 2004, 2:16 [IST]
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'Matches should be played with sportsmanship'
Wednesday, February 18 2004 20:46 Hrs (IST)

Hyderabad:Asserting that there was no confusion in the Government's mind on Indo-Pak cricket series, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said reviving cricketing ties with Islamabad was part of confidence-building measures to improve people-to-people contact between the two countries.

Sinha said he had not seen any note from the Home Ministry on the reported security concerns that had raised doubts over the tour. He quoted Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani as having said that the Home Ministry's stand on the issue was 'clearly misunderstood'.

"When we found that it was becoming an issue, the Prime Minister reviewed the situation and decided to go ahead with the tour," Sinha told reporters in Hyderabad.

Disagreeing with a questioner that the Indo-Pak match has been converted into a diplomatic event rather than a sporting event, he said, "Let us play cricket in the true sprit of the game."

Stating that reviving cricketing ties was part of the confidence-building measures to improve people-to-people contacts, Sinha said the matches should be played in the spirit of sportsmanship.

The minister said visa norms would also be relaxed to enable people to visit Pakistan to watch the matches.

Pak to grant visas liberally to Indian fans

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