Pak PM Gilani vows to help save Indias cricket tour

November 21st, 2008 - 12:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Karachi, Nov 21 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly agreed to get actively involved in the bid to save Indias cricket tour to his country scheduled for early next year, saying that he would soon be discussing the issue with his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh.

Gilani told PCB chairman Ijaz Butt that he will assure Dr Manmohan Singh that Indian cricketers will be provided with a fool-proof security blanket during their tour of Pakistan which is lined up for January-February next year, but is in the danger of becoming a victim to the prevailing security situation in the country.

Butt called on the premier in Islamabad last evening in a bid to garner his support to avoid the home series against India from getting cancelled or switched to neutral venues, reported The News.

The series to be played from January 5 to February 19 includes three Tests, five One-day Internationals and one Twenty20 International but is in doubt because the Indian government is yet to clear the tour.

Gilani told Butt and other senior PCB officials that the matter would be tackled at the highest level. The game of cricket is loved by the people of both India and Pakistan and the government will ensure proper security arrangements for organising the forthcoming Pak-India cricket series. This is a very high-profile tour and the Indian government would be provided assurance regarding their security concerns, the paper quoted Gilani as saying in a statement.

The PCB is making all possible efforts to save the series against India that is crucial for the future of Pakistan cricket. Pakistan have not played a single Test in 2008 because of Australias refusal to tour this country on the pretext of security apprehensions earlier this year. Experts fear that if India also avoided their tour of Pakistan, then no leading cricket team will visit this country in the coming years. (ANI)

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