India's cricket tour to Pakistan likely to be called off
New Delhi: India's cricket tour to Pakistan in January is likely to be called off. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sources have told CNN-IBN that the security situation in Pakistan is dangerous.
In fact the Indian mission in Islamabad has given a report on the security situation in Pakistan and the report clearly outlines the dangerous situation in the country.
This report is not specific to the Indian cricket tour and thus a final decision has not been taken as yet.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) website, too, is yet to confirm the six-week long itinerary starting January 2009.
BCCI sources told CNN-IBN that they will discuss the Pakistan tour in detail with MEA in December.
Meanwhile, BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said, "We will wait for clearance from MEA. From our side the tour is still on."
India are to play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 game. The Test matches are at Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore while the ODIs are to be held at Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi.
The lone Twenty20 will be played in Karachi.
Earlier the five-match hockey Test series between the junior teams of India and Pakistan was called-off on Monday as the MEA refused to give clearance to the team, citing security fears.
The series was slated to start from Tuesday at the Hockey Club of Pakistan in Karachi.
President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation Qasim Zia told reporters in Karachi that the series was called off as the Indian government was not satisfied with the security plans for their team.
"When Indian team didn't arrive on schedule, we got in touch with the Indian hockey officials and they said they are still waiting for clearance from their foreign ministry," Zia said.
"But at 1600 hrs, we were informed by the Indian hockey officials that they are not coming. The Indian government didn't clear the tour because they were not happy with the security plan we assured them," he added.
The volatile situation in Pakistan has seen quite a few cricket tours being cancelled including the high profile Champions Trophy after countries like England, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia decided against touring Pakistan.
(With inputs from PTI)