India willing to play Test match in Karachi

Published: Saturday, August 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has expressed willingness to play Test and One-day internationals in Karachi during the Indian team's tour to Pakistan next year.

A top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said the BCCI has also asked for an additional three-day practice match in Karachi after the proposed itinerary sent last week, included only a Test and One-dayer.

Since 2000, when England beat Pakistan in near darkness, only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have played Tests in Karachi while South Africa, India and England have stayed away from the turbulent and at times violent Port City. West Indies and Australia refused to visit Pakistan and preferred to play off-shore in the aftermath of terrorists attacks in United States on September 11.

"We at the PCB think it is a major development in restoring the image of Karachi as a major cricket centre. The BCCI have lived up to its commitment of playing a Test inKarachi in 2006," the official, requesting anonymity, said.

The PCB official added that the BCCI has forwarded the itinerary to its Foreign Office for formal approval.

"The BCCI has accepted the proposed itinerary but they require Foreign Office approval before officially accepting it. Advice from the Foreign Office is a normal procedure followed by every country before embarking on any tour," he said.

"BCCI will send its security delegation most probably when England will be playing in Pakistan," the PCB spokesman said.

Besides Karachi, the Tests have been slotted at Lahore and Multan while ODIs have been proposed at Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

India last year opened their tour of Pakistan with a One-dayer in Karachi and appreciated the full house for their supporting attitude. Several Indian dignitaries, including slain former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's son Rahul and daughter Priyanka, watched India win by six runs after piling up 349.

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