PCB Chairman to visit India to save cricket series

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pcb-logo.jpg' class='caption'> Ejaz Butt will visit India later this month or in early December in a desperate bid to ensure that MS Dhoni and his men visit Pakistan next year.

Updated: November 23, 2008 11:40 IST
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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ejaz Butt will visit India later this month or in early December in a desperate bid to ensure that M S Dhoni and his teammates arrive here for a full series early next year.

PCB Chief Operating Officer Saleem Altaf said Butt would personally go to India and meet BCCI and government officials to convince them to tour Pakistan as scheduled.

Butt recently met with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and also the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad to discuss the Indian team's tour and prevent it from being shifted to a neutral or offshore venue.

Sources said Butt would go to India and brief the Indian board officials and government functionaries about the stringent security plan set for the Indian team.

Altaf said Butt would also discuss arrival of the Indian security delegation to review the security arrangements for the tour which Pakistan is counting on to boost its economy and also have a chance of hosting the Champions Trophy later in the year.

The PCB official also confirmed that Butt could discuss the itinerary of the Indian team afresh as Rawalpindi had been dropped as a venue because the main pavilion and outfield at the Pindi cricket stadium which is renovated and upgraded were not completed as yet.

"The development work cannot be completed for the Indian team's tour so the test and one-dayer scheduled there would most probably now be played at Faisalabad and Multan," Altaf said.

Pakistan cricket has been affected badly by the prevailing security situation in the country with terrorist attacks and suicide bomb blasts scaring off foreign teams from touring the country which prompted the Indian government to closely asses the situation.

After Australia postponed their Test tour in April, the International Cricket Council also deferred the Champions Trophy, which was to be held in Pakistan for the first time in September.

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