Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ~~Cricket series will improve Indo-Pak ties~~

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Islamabad:Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has voiced hope that the cricket series between Pakistan and India would help improve relations between the rival South Asian neighbours.

Speaking at a reception for the Indian and Pakistani players at his official residence in Islamabad on Wednesday, he lauded the performance of the two sides as the five-match series was tied 1-1 after the first two One-day Internationals played so far.

"The wins by each team emanate the message that in politics give and take is the answer to harmony, better understanding and better relationship," the official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted him as telling the players.

Musharraf said the quality of play had been "exceptionally high" in the first two games with some outstanding individual performances by cricketers on both teams.

The President said Pakistan and India could attain still higher standards if they play each other regularly. "I congratulate both the teams for playing exceptionally well, the matches have been exciting and extremely enjoyable for the cricket followers," Musharraf said.

Musharraf expressed the hope that the current cricket series would serve as a precursor for a better relationship between the two South Asian countries in future, APP said.

He also advised the players not to let tension get the better of them as it affects their performance, the news agency said. The Indian team arrived earlier this month for its first full Test tour of Pakistan in more than 14 years amid peace initiatives launched by the two countries last year.

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