Indian cricketers will get VVIP security, assures Pakistan

October 29th, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Oct 29 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wednesday rejected speculations that its home series against India early next year could fall victim to the prevailing security situation in the country and said the Indian cricketers will be provided VVIP security during the tour. Speculations were rife in local media reports Wednesday that the PCB is considering the idea of playing the series in India to avoid it from getting scrapped.

But a top PCB official told IANS that India has confirmed the itinerary of the tour to be held January-February next year.

“Security will not be a problem as all necessary arrangements will be made to ensure the safety of the players and officials,” said Saleem Altaf, the PCB Director General.

“The tour is a 100 percent on as India has already confirmed the itinerary of its series against Pakistan and we are in the process of doing our homework to make the series successful one,” he said.

India is scheduled to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International during the tour that is supposed to be the high point of Pakistan’s cricket calendar in 2009.

The opening Test against India in Karachi starts Jan 13 and will be Pakistan’s first Test in almost 14 months. Pakistan last played a Test in November 2006 against India in Bangalore.

India will play the three Tests in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore while the one-dayers will be played in Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi, which will also host the only Twenty20 International.

Altaf said the PCB will be fully ready to deliver a successful series. However, there is a problem because the Rawalpindi Stadium that is to stage a Test and a one-dayer is a long from being completely ready to host international matches.

Rawalpindi was dropped as venue for last September’s Champions Trophy which was to take place in Pakistan but was postponed because of security concerns.

Altaf said the PCB will make all venues, including the Rawalpindi stadium, ready by the end of next month as it has earmarked PRs.800 million for the development of facilities ahead of the series against India.

“Each venue, including Rawalpindi, will be in fully ready to host the home series against India,” said Altaf, a former Pakistan Test pacer.

He pointed out that the series against India is the biggest event for Pakistan at home in a long time and the PCB will make all possible efforts to host it in the best possible manner.

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