PCB releases India tour itinerary

Rawalpindi is all set to host a Test and a one-dayer during India's cricket tour of Pakistan next year.

updated: September 23, 2008 11:59 IST
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Rawalpindi is all set to host a Test and a one-dayer during India's cricket tour of Pakistan next year but the PCB on Tuesday said it might have to review the itinerary in the wake of the deadly blasts in neighbouring Islamabad.

The Pakistan Cricket Board released the itinerary for the January 4 to February 19 tour during which Indians are scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals, a twenty20 game and a three-day practice match at Hyderabad.

A senior official of the board said the tour itinerary was approved by the Indians but admitted they might want to have a review of venues after the Marriott hotel blast in Islamabad.

Teams playing in Rawalpindi used to put up at the Marriott.

PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said tour itinerary, for the moment, remains as it was approved by the Indians.

"We had also sent them a brief of the security plan for the tour which is on the lines of the one prepared for the Champions Trophy and they didn't have any problems," he said.

But he admitted that with the tour still three months away, changes could be made to the itinerary if considered necessary by both boards.

"We would like to reactivate Rawalpindi as an international venue because the stadium has been renovated. The bomb attack in Islamabad is a human tragedy but we are hopeful things will improve in coming days," he said.

The Indians, who will make their third Test tour to Pakistan since 2004, will start off the series with a three-day game in Hyderabad followed by the first Test in Karachi from January 13 to 17.

The Indians would end their tour in Karachi with the fifth one-dayer on February 17 and the twenty20 game on the 19.

Naghmi asserted that the PCB had assuring security arrangements for touring teams but like many other countries Pakistan was also facing terrorist problems.

"But we are as safe as any country," he added.

India was one of the countries that supported having the Champions Trophy in Pakistan despite the refusal of some teams to send their teams here because of the security concerns.

The ICC eventually postponed the tournament to 2009.

Itinerary of India team's tour to Pakistan:

Jan 4: arrival in Karachi
Jan 6-8: Three-day side match - Hyderabad
Jan 13-17: First Test - Karachi
Jan 21-25: Second Test -Rawalpindi
Jan 29-Feb 2: Third Test - Lahore
Feb 6: First one-day international - Faisalabad
Feb 8: Second one-day international - Lahore
Feb 11: Third one-day international - Rawalpindi
Feb 14: Fourth one-day international - Multan
Feb 17: Fifth one-day international - Karachi