Thatscricket - News - 'Peshawar, Karachi not to hosts Test matches'

Published: Saturday, February 21, 2004, 21:05 [IST]
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'Peshawar, Karachi not to hosts Test matches'
Saturday, February 21 2004 15:35 Hrs (IST)

New Delhi:The Indian cricket team would not play Test matches at trouble-prone venues of Karachi and Peshawar and will also skip the three-day warm-up match at Multan during the upcoming tour of Pakistan.

The Home Ministry has recommended the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to avoid Test matches at Karachi and Peshawar due to security concerns and has suggested four venues -- Multan, Faislabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi -- for the three-match Test series, Sports Minister Vikram Verma told reporters on Saturday.

"The Home Ministry has recommended not to hold matches in Karachi and Peshawar. We have conveyed the recommendations to the BCCI on Saturday. The Home Ministry's proposals are binding," Verma said.

He, however, said the Home Ministry has no objection in India playing One-dayers in Karachi and Peshawar.

"We have given a list of six venues to them. Besides the Test venues, Karachi and Peshawar are the other two where the five One-dayers should be held," he said.

Verma said the Indian players would be accompanied by a three-member security team, which will co-ordinate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Pakistan Government officials on the security arrangements during the tour.

"The Home Ministry will depute a chief security officer and two assistant security officials for the tour," he said.

The Sports Minister, however, said the Pakistan Government and the PCB should take full responsibility to ensure the safety of the Indian players in that country.

Asked why the Ministry suggested scrapping of the three-day game at Multan, Verma said "There is no point in having a Test match, a One-dayer and a three-day game at the same venue. Furthermore, we don't see the need for the Indian players to play in a warm-up match."

Verma said the Home Ministry had not made any proposal to split the tour into two and also ruled out shortening of the visit.

"India will play three Tests and five One-dayers in Pakistan. There is no chance of cutting the tour short." He said though the recommendations are binding, BCCI can appeal the Home Ministry to reconsider them if they found them difficult to implement.

"It is now upto the BCCI to draw up the final itinerary. If they have any problem, they can request us for some modifications." The BCCI was expected to announce the final itinerary of the tour at Kolkata later in the day. The BCCI has already delayed the start of the tour by 5-6 days.

'India's tour of Pak could be deferred'

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