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Indian team leaves for Pakistan

The Indian cricket team have departed for their historic 40-day tour of Pakistan in a special flight from Delhi.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2004 14:34 IST

The Indian cricket team today was given a cheerful send-off as they departed from here for their 40-day tour of Pakistan.

The 15-member team, led by Sourav Ganguly, boarded a special Indian Airlines flight amidst cheers of "good-bye" and "all the best" from the fans who thronged the entry point at the Indira Gandhi international airport here.

The crowd, numbering in hundreds, broke into a huge applause and whistles as Sachin Tendulkar stepped out of the team bus.

The tight security ring made sure the players had enough breathing space as they walked into the terminal while a couple of them, like Hemang Badani, acknowledged the best wishes with a thumbs-up.

Earlier, the team was briefed by the Ministry of External Affairs on the significance of the series,calling it a"goodwill tour".

The players were also extended good wishes by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who urged them not only to win the matches but the hearts of the Pakistani people, too.

India are visiting Pakistan for a full-fledged cricket se ies for the first time since 1989-90.

Beginning 13 March, they will play a series of five one-day internationals and three Tests before returning home on 18 April.

First Published: Mar 10, 2004 14:34 IST