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No change in Pak team's tour

The news late on Saturday was that Pakistan's tour of India would go on as scheduled, reports Kadambari Murali.

cricket Updated: Nov 03, 2007 23:46 IST
Kadambari Murali
Kadambari Murali
Hindustan Times

The news late on Saturday was that Pakistan's tour of India would go on as scheduled. A one-line statement from Dr Ahsan Malik, the Pakistan Cricket Board's spokesperson here, said, "We haven't received any instructions on the matter from Pakistan, so status quo will be maintained."

On Saturday evening, many players — who apparently found out about the declaration of Emergency in Pakistan while at nets at the Kotla - chose to keep to their rooms and follow the events on television.

Yet, those who did come down said that they were all pretty calm. Shahid Afridi told HT that they knew their families were safe. "This wasn't unexpected," he said, adding that there was no further news as lines (in Pakistan) were now down. "But we expect it will be alright."

Another player said there was a sense of unease, which did not help ahead of a high-pressure series, but they had discussed it and decided to play it by the ear.

"We're hoping that we do really well now, and give the country something to cheer. It won't be easy though, but maybe once we know more, and the lines start working again, things will be better."

The BCCI too had not heard anything from the PCB. "I've been trying (PCB's General Manager, Cricket Operations) Zakir Khan repeatedly but cannot get through, the mobiles are out," BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, told HT. "But I am in constant touch with our liaison officer for the Pakistan team, Rufus Rockey, and the Pakistan team, and they've heard nothing further."

He said the Pakistan High Commission had his number and he was sure they would get in touch if any change in the schedule had to be officially conveyed. "As things stand, the team proceeds to Guwahati on Sunday for the first one-dayer”.

First Published: Nov 03, 2007 21:06 IST