Karachi/Mumbai: The Indian cricket team will play the first Test against Pakistan in Lahore on January 14 instead of January 5. Faisalabad and Karachi will also host a Test each. India will also play five one-dayers between February 6-20. The Pakistan Cricket Board though will have to wait for clearance from the Indian government before they finalise Karachi as a venue for the third test and one of the one-dayers. PCB chief Shahryar Khan said that Pakistan Cricket Board will not insist on India playing an additional sixth one-dayer. Tight schedule Khan said the Board realised that the Indian team was already burdened with "an extremely tight schedule" and hence it did not want to put them under additional pressure. "We did not offer to Sharad Pawar a six-match one-day series proposal in lieu of the six one-dayers we played in India earlier this year. We have to understand that India has a busy and extremely tight cricket schedule and we cannot put them in a situation where they say no or turn down the proposal," Shaharyar said. Pakistan agreed to play the sixth one-dayer in Ahmedabad earlier this year after refusing to play a Test in the city that was witness to communal rights in 2002. The extra one-dayer meant additional revenue for the Indian Cricket Board from the broadcasters. "It has been decided with the Indian Board that India would play at least three of the five one-dayers under lights, which means Karachi will also host a day/nighter," Shaharyar said, adding "of course, Karachi Test and one-dayer are subject to Indian government approval which is essential when sensitive cities are involved in hosting matches." Karachi to host Test, ODI? Karachi has been allocated the third Test (Jan 30 to Feb 3) and fifth one-dayer (Feb 20) during the Indian cricket team's tour of Pakistan scheduled between January 6 and February 20 next year. India played a one-dayer in Karachi in 2004 but preferred a day game during their less-than 24-hour visit of the Port City. Shaharyar Khan said the postponement of the Asia Cup gave the Pakistan and India Boards more arms to flex and now they had devised an itinerary which was neither taxing for the players nor would put extra pressure on the home board in respect of logistical arrangements. The Indian cricket team, instead of Jan 2, will now arrive in Lahore on January 6 and will open the tour with a three-dayer at Lahore (Jan 7-9) while the Tests will be played at Lahore (Jan 14-18), Faisalabad (Jan 22-26) and Karachi (Jan 30-Feb3). The one-dayers will be played at Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan and Karachi between February 6 and 20.
(With PTI inputs)