Dhoni glad Indian team has not gone to Pakistan (Lead)

March 3rd, 2009 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Napier, March 3 (IANS) Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he is glad India did not tour Pakistan, where six Sri Lankan players were injured in a terror attack in Lahore Tuesday.
For good measure, he went on to say it was unlikely that international cricket will be played in Pakistan “in the next few years”.

India were to play three Tests, five One-day internationals and one Twenty20 game in Pakistan January-February but the Indian government refused to permit the tour due to strained relations between the neighbours in the wake of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed more than 170 lives.

Sri Lanka filled in for India, agreeing to play three ODIs and two Tests. That tour was abruptly called off Tuesday after the attack on the team’s cavalcade as it headed for the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day’s play of the second Test.

“I am happy we didn’t tour Pakistan, and that the government didn’t allow us to go. It may or may not have happened to us, but I am happy to be here,” Dhoni said of the Indian team’s ongoing tour of New Zealand for playing five one-dayers and three Tests.

The two teams played the first one-dayer here Tuesday wearing black arm bands to condemn the Lahore attack.

“One thing is for sure, I don’t think there will be (international) cricket there in the next few years.”

Dhoni said news of the Lahore strike came as a shock to him.

“I was quite shocked, quite blank,” he said. “It’s sad that sportspersons are attacked. Even a civilian getting attacked is just as sad. Hope they are all fine.”

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