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Indian cricket team to tour Pakistan

22/10/2003 11:06:26 PM Comments (0)

India's cricket team is set to undertake its first Test tour of Pakistan in 14 years early next year after the government offered to restore full sporting ties between the arch-rivals.

India's Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha announced the long-awaited resumption of bilateral cricket matches at a press conference, saying "the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will now be happy."

India, which last played a Test series in Pakistan in November 1989 is scheduled to take part in three Tests and as many one-day internationals during the month-long tour in March.

"The itinerary of the tour will be finalised in consultation with the Pakistan Cricket Board," a BCCI official told AFP.

The Indian government banned bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan after the 2000 Asia Cup due to political tensions, but allowed the teams to play in multi-nation events like the World Cup.

India played against Pakistan in the preliminary league of the World Cup in South Africa in March, a game that passed off without incident.

While India has not played a Test series in Pakistan for 14 years, Pakistan toured India for three Tests in early 1999 despite threats from Hindu fundamentalists.

The Tests in Madras and New Delhi went off peacefully, but the third at Eden Gardens in Calcutta ended in front of an empty stadium after police were forced to clear the stands following crowd trouble.

The Indian government last month approved a series of cricket matches with Pakistan at the junior level, raising speculation that the resumption of ties at the senior level was around the corner.

An Indian under-19 team will cross the border later this month for a four-nation tournament also featuring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Pakistan 'A' team will visit India in December.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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