Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Indian fans heave a sigh of relief

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Millions of Indian cricket fans sighed with relief as a Dubai-based sports television network agreed to share live broadcast of the second India-Pakistan One-day cricket match with India's state-run Doordarshan station.

Ten Sports, which holds sole broadcast rights to the five One-dayers and three Tests in Pakistan, had cried foul when Doordarshan allegedly reneged on an agreement and aired Saturday's cliff-hanging One-dayer played in Karachi minus the logo of the Dubai-based network.

Ten Sports, which now hopes to grab the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) television rights scheduled to be auctioned next month, said it would comply with Monday's interim Supreme Court order freezing its disputes over logo display and revenue-sharing and broadcast Tuesday's match in India.

The court, however, ordered Doordarshan to deposit 100 million rupees (2.2 million dollars) for payment to the private channel.

Ten Sports chief Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, while complaining of judicial intervention, said he hoped to resolve its disputes with Doordarshan.

"At any time we will be too happy for out-of-court settlement but at the moment we have to wait for the Supreme Court ruling," he said.

Indian Law Minister Arun Jaitley, meanwhile, appealed to the broadcast outlets to bury the hatchet and ensure that fans in cricket-mad India enjoyed the matches, the first full tour by India of Pakistan in nearly 15 years.

"Both competing parties should arrive at, or would be able to arrive at, some adequate settlement in this regard. One must make an effort to make sure a game like this, which is almost like a religion in India, can be viewed by the maximum number of people," Jaitley said.

Teenaged Shrida Hussein, meanwhile, was looking forward to watching the game Tuesday as Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat at a packed stadium in the city of Rawalpindi.

"Yesterday, there was suspense over Ten Sports and Doordarshan and now it's over we want to relish today's suspense in front of the TV," she said in New Delhi, as motorists hurried home for the day-night Limited Overs match.

The Indian cricket team last toured Pakistan in 1989 and the ongoing series has frenzied fans in both countries. The excitement proved too much for one India supporter who died of a heart attack during Saturday's match which recorded the highest ever runs scored in the history of One-dayers.

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