Musharraf gives guidelines over Pakistan~~s India tour

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:President Pervez Musharraf gave Pakistan's cricket chief "comprehensive guidelines" on the team's upcoming tour of India and voiced concern at their recent drubbing in Australia, officials said.

General Musharraf met Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan ahead of next month's trip across the border, the first by Pakistan's cricketers since 1999, a statement issued by the Board said on Monday.

"The meeting held at the President House lasted 45 minutes and President Musharraf gave guidelines on team's next month's tour to India," it said.

Musharraf also discussed the Pakistani team's "poor current performance and an alleged indiscipline case in Australia," the statement said.

Pakistan play three Tests and five One-day Internationals in India from February 25 to April 9.

India has proposed the riot-hit city of Ahmedabad as a Test venue but the PCB has said it would clear the itinerary only after a report by a venue assessment committee.

The two-member team comprising PCB general operations manager Zakir Khan and police official Sohail Khan left for India on a five-day tour Monday afternoon.

"The President authorised the PCB to consult with the concerned departments and decide on the venues," a spokesman for the Board said.

PCB sources said Pakistan was likely to reject Ahmedabad after around 2,000 people died in Hindu-Muslim riots there in 2002. Chennai is the likely replacement, while the other Tests are slated for Mohali and Bangalore.

The statement added that Musharraf "also showed his concerns over the team's 3-0 defeat in the Test series in Australia and urged (the team) to lift the performance."

Pakistan lost all three Tests by big margins and have lost two of their three matches in the ongoing tri-series involving hosts Australia and the West Indies.

Musharraf was also briefed over allegations in the Australian media that an unnamed Pakistani player raped a woman in a Melbourne hotel last month, the statement said.

The PCB said on Monday it had closed the investigation after finding no evidence against any player.

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