Pakistan ready to play reluctant India at neutral venue

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> With the government unlikely to clear Team India's Pakistan tour, the PCB is hoping that it would be able to convince BCCI to play in a neutral venues

Updated: December 08, 2008 10:01 IST
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With the Indian government unlikely to clear Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his teammates for the Pakistan tour, the cricket board here is hoping that it would be able to convince BCCI to play the series in a neutral venue.

As of now, BCCI is awaiting an instruction from the Indian government for the series which ran into trouble after relation strained between the two countries in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The Pakistan Cricket Board, however, is still hopeful that it can convince its Indian counterparts to play at neutral venues.

"The PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt has so far failed to get any response from the Indian board. After the Mumbai attacks with the Indian media has reacted strongly to Pakistan's involvement in the attacks the Indian board has also gone silent on the tour," a PCB source said.

"The Pakistanis are now planning to take the ACC Executive Council meeting in Chennai on December 12 as an opportunity to urge the Indian board to at least play the Test series on schedule at neutral venues like Colombo, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah," the source said.

He said before the Mumbai attacks the two boards were in constant touch and the Indians were expecting to send a security delegation to Pakistan for pre-tour inspection checks in first week of December to confirm the venues and dates.

India were due to tour Pakistan from January 4 to play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 match.

The source pointed out that no senior board official from India was in Colombo for the ACC development committee meeting last Friday so Butt had no chance for any one-to-one interaction with any Indian official.

He said with time running out, Pakistan was now keen to stage the series on schedule, wherever it may be.

"Pakistani cricket authorities are now resigned to the fact that it is going to be difficult to get teams to fulfill commitments to tour Pakistan so they are ready to play all home series in 2009 at neutral venues including against Australia in April," he said.

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