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India's tour of Pakistan in trouble

The Indian cricket tour of Pakistan in January appears to be in trouble with the government being apprehensive on account of security of the team.

cricket Updated: Nov 22, 2008 00:19 IST

The Indian cricket tour of Pakistan in January appears to be in trouble, with the government here being apprehensive on account of security of the team and wondering whether it was worth risking the lives of players like Sachin Tendulkar.

The final decision on the tour, scheduled from January 6 to February 19, will be taken within two weeks on the basis of the assessment by a high-level team of officials that will be going to Pakistan shortly.

Sources today said the risk of undertaking the tour is high considering the prevailing security situation in Pakistan and "no sensible government" would take it.

To press the argument, the sources said if even a "scratch" comes to Sachin, what would happen to the bilateral relations.

"The risk is not worth running," they said.

The sources cited the recent terror attack on a national sporting event in Peshawar to cite the example of the security situation in Pakistan.

Top cricket nations, including Australia, have refused to tour Pakistan in recent times because of the security situation in the strife-torn country which has not hosted a major international tournament since the Asia Cup in June this year.

The high-profile Champions Trophy, which was originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September this year, had to be deferred with most teams refusing to tour the country.

The BCCI has already made it clear to the Pakistan Cricket Board that it would tour Pakistan only if it got the clearance from the government which remained apprehensive despite assurance of a fool-proof security arrangement.

BCCI President Shashank Manohar has told his PCB counterpart Ijaz Butt that he had written to his government for the clearance of the tour and the BCCI is expected to get a reply in the next ten to 12 days.

India is due to tour Pakistan to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a twenty20 game and the itinerary of the tour has been agreed upon by both the Boards.

The government this month stopped the Indian junior hockey team from touring Pakistan for a test series as it was not satisfied with the security arrangements made by the Pakistani authorities.

The PCB has talked about shifting the series to a neutral venue including England or switching the series with India in case the Indian government does not give clearance for the tour.