Pak venue assessment team arrives with an ~~open mind~~

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:A two-member venue assessment team arrived from Pakistan here today and set the tone for the upcoming cricket series between the archrivals by declaring that it had come with an "open mind and not a negative attitude".

The team, comprising Zakir Khan, general manager (operations) of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sohail Khan, senior superintendent of Police, Lahore, is on a five-day visit to the country.

Zakir Khan said the team hoped to cover all venues, announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the three Tests and five One-dayers, during its short visit.

"We would be heading for Mohali tomorrow although a formal schedule is yet to be worked out," Zakir told reporters on his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The PCB official dismissed a report in Pakistani press, which claimed that the Pakistani foreign ministry was against playing a Test match in Ahmedabad, which witnessed communal riots in 2002.

"I am not sure about the foreign ministry statement but our chairman (Shaharyar Khan) has made a statement that a decision on venues would be taken only after the Venue Assessment team submits its report.

"Anyway, it is too early to say anything on feasibility of Ahmedabad as one of the venues. We have come with an open mind and not a negative attitude," Zakir Khan said.

The BCCI announced Mohali, Ahmedabad and Bangalore as venues for the Tests last week. For the One-dayers, it said Kochi, Jamshedpur, Vishakhapatnam, Kanpur and New Delhi would be the venues.

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