Indian Blind cricket team tours Pak, hopes to improve ties

Indian Blind cricket team tours Pak, hopes to improve ties

Pakistan and India might have suspended bilateral cricket ties but the Indian blind cricket team which has reached Pakistan via the Wagah border is hoping to change this trend.

Their captain Shekar Naik said that people in both nations were very passionate about Indo-Pak cricket matches and wanted to see regular bilateral cricket series.

"I hope that after we end our tour after playing in Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi we would have not only won the hearts of the Pakistanis but also sent out a message that Indian cricketers are always welcome in Pakistan," he said.

"I hope we can help in the peace process between both countries," he added yesterday.

The 17-member Indian blind cricket team has been invited by the Pakistan Blind cricket association to play three T20 matches and three one-day games.

This is the first visit of the Indian blind team in three years time.

Naik from Bangalore told reporters in Lahore that while efforts had been made to keep blind cricket ties alive by both countries but they wanted to see the same frequency of ties at the international level.

He said it was good to see Pakistan tour India last December but said most Indians would like to see a return series.

"Whenever we come to Pakistan it is a goodwill tour as we try to leave an impression on our hosts that there is not much difference between the Pakistani and Indian people," he said.

The first of three Twenty20 matches will be played in Lahore on Saturday followed by the next two in Faisalabad on February 16 and 17.

All three one-day matches will be played in Karachi on February 19, 21 and 23.
Shoaib Siddiqui the commissioner of Karachi chaired a high level meeting on Friday to review security arrangements for the matches.

"Top level security will be provided to the Indian team as we also want to show a soft image of Pakistan," he said. India beat Pakistan in the final to win the inaugural blind World Twenty20 held in Bangalore in 2012.

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