Cricket bridges gap between India-Pak: Akhtar

Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Lucknow: Pakistan express bowler Shoaib Akhtar today observed that the India-Pakistan cricket series always helps in building a cordial relationship between both the countries.

''The Indo-Pak series ought to continue as it helps to ease out tensions between the two countries,'' Shoaib told reporters during his visit to a school for the physically challenged in the City of Nawabs.

Though the speedster refused to comment anything more on the India-Pakistan relationship or about the recent situation in his country, Shoaib said he had always supported peace between both the countries, which share common traditions and values.

Both the Indian and Pakistani team members are in the city since last night and were resting at the Sahara Shahar.

The players were said to have gone for net practise in the morning hours, while in the evening, they are slated to attend a musical extravaganza of the  Bollywood stars in which 'Badshah' Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, 'Bubbly' Kareena Kapoor, Sonu Nigam et al are expected to perform.

The teams will leave for Gwalior tomorrow morning by a charter plane, where they will play the fourth one-dayer on Nov 15.

Gwalior gears up for Indo-Pak battle: Team India and their Pakistan counterparts are scheduled to arrive here by a special plane by tomorrow evening for their fourt day/night one-dayer on Nov 15  at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium, Gwalior where preparations are in the final stage, reports UNI from Gwalior.

The district administration and police have donned the security mantle and only pass-bearers are being allowed entry into the stadium that has been cordoned off. Gwalior Division Cricket Association (GDCA) Organisational Secretary Nirbhay Bakliwal and Media Incharge Sanjay Sharma today claimed that the ground was ready.

''Officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and umpires will be accompanying the teams on the plane,'' said Bakliwal. Ticket sale began on Monday.

Collector Rakesh Shrivastav and Superintendent of Police V K Suryavanshi told mediapersons this evening that road traffic would be diverted on the day of the match.

''No person will be allowed to carry inflammable material, cellphones, radios, transistors etc into the stadium. Eight SPs, seven additional SPs, 44 deputy SPs and 2,000 other personnel will be deployed,'' said Suryavanshi.

Large screens would be put up at five locations in this town.

Visa-bearing Pakistani citizens arriving here for the match would be registered at the railway station, bus stand or airport and police stations.

Inspector-General D S Sengar would be in charge. The officer visited the stadium with Suryavanshi. An assistant sub-inspector was among five Special Armed Force personnel suspended for dereliction of duty.

A viewers' stand plank was broken by a GDCA official who claimed that the plank was weak and he was replacing it.

The official claimed that he obtained a no-objection certificate from the Public Works Department though Municipal Commissioner Pawan Sharma and PWD Chief Engineer V C Sharma told that no NOC was issued. The stadium belongs to the municipal corporation and is leased out to GDCA.

In 2003, a plank gave way during a Indo-Australia match. Four spectators were injured, one severely.


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