BCCI seeks security clearance for Pakistan tour

November 19th, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Kanpur, Nov 19 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday sought security clearance from the government for next year’’s tour of Pakistan.

Indians are scheduled to tour Pakistan from January 13 to February 19, playing three tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.

However, there are safety concerns for players following a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan in the last few months.

What I have come to know is that BCCI President Shahank Manohar has already made it clear that on BCCI’’s side the tour is on. And we are waiting for the government’’s nod. We have already written to the government and the moment we get clearance we will let you know. We are waiting for government’’s clearance, Rajiv Shukla, Vice-President of BCCI told reporters in Kanpur, venue for third one series between India and England.

Australia cancelled a test tour of Pakistan this year and the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Champions Trophy in September over security concerns.

The ICC has re-scheduled the one-day tournament for September 24- October 5 next year but said it would monitor India’’s tour before confirming Pakistan as the venue.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), already worried about test cricket due to reluctance of teams to travel, is concerned India may pull out on security grounds.

Its chiefs have suggested swapping Pakistan’’s 2010 tour of India or even staging the series in a neutral venue if the trip does not happen.

Shukla added about the security beef up in Kanpur for the England team for the third match of the seven-match one-day series to be played on Thursday.

I don”t see any general hostilities towards England team. So I don”t foresee any problems as far as English team is concerned. But still all the precautions are being taken. I think there is over policing as far as security is concerned. So I think everything should go well. There”ll be public announcements system also. On racial there shouldn”t be any racial remarks, nothing should be on the players, so all these precautions are being taken, said Shukla.

Meanwhile, England’’s Graeme Swann is set to play in the third one-day international against India after the off spinner was named in a 12-man squad on Wednesday.

However, left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom’’s hopes of returning to the side for Thursday’’s contest were dented after he underwent a scan for a back problem, having just recovered from an achilles injury that kept him out of the first two games.

Speaking on Yuvraj Singh’’s performance in first two one day internationals Swann said that England team would be looking forward to send Singh early to the pavilion in the third one day.

He has played so well in the first two games. Sometimes you are unlucky you come up against a guy who is in good form. I think we are unlucky to hit him at the end of the very bad patch and he has a bounce back. He is also hungry for runs. Obviously we have had some success against him in the past and we”ll be looking to do everything it takes to find that little edge to get him out early on Thursday.

The 26-year-old left-hander, Singh slammed the second fastest one day international hundred by an Indian while scoring 138 not out in the first game against England.

He then put on an assured, all-round display with 118 and also took four for 28 bowling slow left-arm spin in the next to put India 2-0 up in the seven-match series.

India’’s test selectors could now reward Yuvraj by recalling him to the middle-order slot vacated after former skipper Sourav Ganguly retired at the end of the 2-0 home series win over Australia earlier this month. (ANI)

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