India to tour Pakistan in March-April

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India today announced its cricket team will tour Pakistan for a full fledged series, involving 3 Test matches and 5 one-dayers, in March-April this year.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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With positive movement in Indo-Pak ties, India today announced its cricket team will tour Pakistan for a full fledged series, involving three Test matches and five one-dayers, in March-April this year. Putting to rest speculation that the tour may be called off on security grounds, Cricket Board President Jagmohan Dalmiya made the announcement about the tour, beginning on March 1, coinciding with the visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Pakistan. "The tour will begin on March 1," Dalmiya told reporters after a meeting of the Board's Working Committee. Big tour This would be the first visit of the Indian team to Pakistan in 13 years. Dalmiya said the details of the itinerary were being worked out in consultation with its Pakistani counterpart. "The detailed itinerary is still in the drawing board. We are talking to Pakistan board officials on this," Dalmiya said. India had last undertaken a tour of Pakistan in 1989 under the captaincy of K Srikkanth while the Pakistan team had visited India in 1999 for playing three Test matches. India had severed bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan following the 1999 Kargil conflict although the arch-rivals played against each other in multi-nation tournaments including the World Cup in South Africa last year. But the Indian government announced it was willing to resume full sporting ties, including cricket, with Pakistan late last year following a thaw in relations between the two countries. Details to be worked out Asked if India wanted to avoid playing at some venues due to security reasons, Dalmiya said "Pakistan will send us the details regarding the venues. Once we receive that, we will take a look." Dalmiya said BCCI had proposed to play the one-day series first although he did not give the reasons for it. "We want to play the one-day series first and then the Test matches and we have sent a proposal accordingly." After its Pakistan tour, which will finish by mid-April, the Indian team would visit Bangladesh for a series comprising two Tests and three one-dayers. Asia Cup, Champions Trophy up Indian players would be given a two-month break following their Bangladesh trip before their next assignment – the Asia Cup in July. The team would then be seen in action in a tri-series involving Pakistan and Australia in August in Europe, the BCCI chief said. "The exact venue of the tri-series is yet to be finalised. It will be either in Scotland, Ireland or Holland," Dalmiya said. The Indian team is also scheduled to play three one-dayers in England on September 1, 3 and 5 in the run-up to the Champions Trophy slated to begin from September 10 next, he said. (PTI)

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