I don't know anything: Dalmiya on Abu Dhabi ODI

Published: Monday, April 26, 2004, 17:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Jagmohan Dalmiya said he was unaware that the Indian and Pakistani teams would be playing an exhibition One-day match in the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi next month.

"I don't know anything about it, I don't know who is going and who is not," Dalmiya said on Monday, reacting to reports that the proposed match was to be played at the brand new Zayed cricket stadium on May 14 for a prize money of 100,000 dollars.

Sourav Ganguly was to lead a near full-strength team against a Pakistan side captained by Inzamam-ul-Haq in the day-night encounter, according to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak-al-Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Control Board and United Arab Emirates (UAE)minister for higher education.

"We thank the Indian and Pakistan cricket Boards and the players who have all agreed to support cricket in Abu Dhabi," the minister was quoted as saying.

"We are happy that India and Pakistan, the two countries with whom the UAE share exemplary relations, should kick-start international competitions here."

Dalmiya declined to comment further, but sources in BCCI said that Abu Dhabi officials had privately requested the players from both sides to take part in the match.

India has not played official cricket in the UAE since March, 2000 following a directive from the Government to avoid off-shore venues like Abu Dhabi's neighbouring emirate, Sharjah, following a match-fixing scandal.

India and Pakistan resumed bilateral cricket ties this year with the recent Test and One-day series in Pakistan, but the Indian Government is yet to officially lift its ban on venues like Sharjah.

Abu Dhabi officials have stressed that the 50-overs-a-side match next month was not an official One-day International.

Sachin Tendulkar and the latest batting sensation Virender Sehwag are the only two Indian stars missing from the line-up announced by the organisers.

The Pakistan team is the same that played in the recent series against India barring injured fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Cricket is a major attraction for thousands of South Asian expatriates in the UAE.

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