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Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Security beefed up for Peshawar ODI

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
 
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Peshawar:Extraordinary security arrangements have been made to ensure that the third One-day cricket match between India and Pakistan to be held in this trouble-prone venue on Friday goes off smoothly.

More than 3000 security personnel have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident during the match and all the spectators will be thoroughly frisked before being allowed to enter the stadium situated in the North West Frontier province.

Gun-totting security men accompanied the team as they arrived at the Arbab Niaz stadium for a net session in the afternoon.

"No solid food items will be allowed inside the stadium. We cannot take any chances, even a small incident can spoil the tour which has gone well so far," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar said on Friday.

He also said spectators were advised not to bring their mobile phones.

A large number of security men, including plain clothesmen, will be deployed outside and inside the stadium with a capacity of 16,000.

The provincial Government has also banned the entry of Afghan refugees into the venue.

The city, located close to the Afghanistan border, was originally scheduled to host a Test match but the Indians refused to play a Test because of security concerns.

The decision not to play a Test match was taken after a three-member Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) delegation, which included security expert Yashovardhan Azad, toured Pakistan to assess the security arrangements. Azad filed his report to the Home Ministry that directed the BCCI to minimise their stay in Peshawar.

As a result, the Indian cricketers reached the venue only on Thursday morning and will leave for Lahore immediately after the match, restricting their stay in the city to less than two days.

Security was tight at the airport also as the Indian team was whisked off into their coach and driven to the hotel.

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