PCB rules out changing match venues

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/I/Indpak.jpg' class='caption'> The PCB has ruled out a change in venues even though some Indian players are reported to have expressed concerns about playing in Peshawar and Karachi.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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New Delhi:

India's tour of Pakistan may have been givn the go-ahead but some niggling problems remain. There have been reports of some players expressing concern about Karachi and Peshawar as venues because of the security situation. Indian concerns But the Pakistan Cricket board has ruled out a change in venues. In an interview to NDTV, PCB's media manager Sami-ul Hassan said that India's concerns will be accommodated. "Karachi and Peshawar will host matches, no security concerns were raised by the Indians. The only point that has been made is that the duration in the two cities is probably too long. We'll try to accommodate the Indian request," said Hassan. The Pakistan board is also confident the tour will be a full one and not split as some reports have suggested. Enthusiasm in Pakistan In Pakistan, the news has been greeted with great enthusiasm but the Pakistan Cricket Board has ruled out withdrawing Karachi and Peshawar from the tour itinerary. Cricket fans in the two cities have already been deprived of watching international cricket as no match of Pakistan’s series against South Africa and New Zealand was held there due to visitors' security concerns. The PCB said the final shape to the Indian team's tour in March-April for the Test matches and five one-day internationals would be given shortly. Players welcome decision Meanwhile the decision to go ahead with the tour has been welcomed by the Indian cricket board and the players. Following the announcement by the External Affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya also held a press conference. Dalmiya was confident that all the details of the tour would be sorted out in the next few days. With the government now backing the tour, cricketers and fans alike can now hope for the long-awaited series to finally begin. "I haven't been selected but I want to say that it is good and I hope that we perform well there," said Irfan Pathan, member of the Indian cricket team that recently toured Australia. "We are not worried about the security, the boards will take care of that," said Irfan Pathan's father Mehaboob Pathan. "There are no fears about security. The tour should definitely go ahead," said Parthiv Patel's father Ajaybhai Patel. The focus now returns to the players themselves some of whom are reportedly under pressure from their families not to play in Pakistan.

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