Indo-Pak cricket series okayed

Indo-Pak cricket series okayed

The Union Home Ministry has cleared the tour of the Pakistan cricket team to India in December, signalling the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries after five years.

The rivals will engage in three one-day internationals in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. They will play two Twenty20 internationals in Bangalore and Ahmedabad from December 25 to January 7.

The tour was accorded security clearance at a meeting of representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with union Home Secretary R K Singh here on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Union minister and BCCI senior official Rajiv Shukla said: “We have discussed all security aspects. The tour is on.”

Besides hundreds of cricket enthusiasts crossing the border to watch the matches, the Centre and the BCCI are likely to invite Pakistani dignitaries and former players to be present during the tour.

India’s last bilateral series against Pakistan was its home series in 2007. The ties snapped after the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, when Pakistan-trained terrorists killed hundreds in the country’s financial capital.

However, the two teams have been playing each other in multi-national tournaments, notably the semi-finals of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup at Mohali, witnessed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his then counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Besides generating huge interest, the match set the tone for revival of cricketing ties, bolstered also by the meeting of the two countries on October 1 in the recent T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Initially, the PCB had invited India for a short tour to Pakistan. And the two agreed over a tour of India by the Pakistan team.

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