Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Pak captain, coach hail Indian team~~s arrival

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Javed Miandad have welcomed Indian cricketers on their arrival in Pakistan for the first time in more than 14 years.

"It's a great moment in Pakistan cricket and we welcome them on the tour to Pakistan with open arms," Inzamam said in Karachi, where his team are warming up ahead of the opening One-day match on Saturday.

India's 15-man team flew into the eastern city of Lahore at 1:47 PM (PST) where they will play a warm up match on Thursday and before flying to Karachi on Friday.

The 40-day tour, including five One-day matches and three Tests, is the first by India to Pakistan since December 1989. Pakistan last toured India in 1998-99.

"We are ready for them on the field but off it they will find us hospitable and accommodating," said Inzamam, 33, who assumed the captaincy last year. He considered the two sides equally balanced. "In the next few days we are going to see exciting and positive cricket with no quarter spared."

Coach Javed Miandad said he hoped the series would be viewed as a sporting event and nothing more. "Our guests have arrived and we welcome them," he said. "I urge the teams and the fans to take it as a cricket series and nothing else." Miandad was on the Pakistani team when India last undertook a full tour of Pakistan in 1989-90.

Pakistan team manager Haroon Rasheed, who played for Pakistan in the 1970s and 1980s, said players from both sides shared good relations.

"The Indians have finally arrived and we are very happy that they are here," he said. "There are going be to some moments stored in the history of Pakistan and Indian cricket.

"Pakistan is known for its hospitality so we will prove that, but on the field we promise some tough cricket."

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