B'desh bound Indian cricketers threatened

Published: Sunday, December 5, 2004, 19:58 [IST]
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Dhaka:A little-known Islamic group has threatened to kill Indian cricketers if they tour Bangladeshfor the two-Test and three one-day series starting next week.

India's Deputy High Commissioner S Chakraborty told PTI here today that they had received a hand-written fax letter from an Islamic group called Harkat-ul-Zihad saying thatIndian cricketers will be killed if they visit Bangladesh.

"The trip (by the Indian cricket team) appears quite uncertain at the moment because the BCCI would have to decide if they feel safe to come to Bangladesh following this threat," Chakraborty said.

He said the High Commission had informed the Bangladesh government about the threat and they had ensured fool-proof security to ensure the tour goes on.

The Indian team is slated to leave on December 7 for Dhaka where the first Test begins two days later. The second Test is scheduled to be held from December 16 in Chittagong.The one-dayers will be played in Chittagong (Dec 23) and Dhaka (Dec 26, 27).

Bangladesh Cricket Board President Ali Azghar Lobby said a letter had already been shot off to the Indian Cricket Board ensuring tight security for the series.

"We have written that BCB takes full responsibility for the series. We have said that these type of threats usually turn out to be misleading and fake and should not spoil theseries," he told PTI.

He said the people of Bangladesh were eagery awaiting the visit of the Indian cricketers and the series should go on.

"The government has assured that security would be beefed up to ensure the tour goes on," Ali Azghar said.

Meanwhile, BCCI sources said in Kolkata that they had not as yet received any letter from BCB.

"We have not received anything from BCB. So we are not aware of any such developments. However, this is a matter on which we cannot comment. If such a thing has indeed takenplace, then it is for the two governments to deal with it," the sources said.

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