Home Ministry green lights India-Pakistan series

The Home Ministry on Tuesday cleared Pakistan cricket team's tour of India for a limited-over series beginning December 25 and said that the government will provide foolproof security to the visiting team. This was conveyed when a delegation of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met Union Home Secretary R K Singh here today, official sources said.

The Board delegation, which included its chief administrative officer Prof Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI VIce-President and Union Minister Rajiv Shukla and chief executive Sundar Raman - in New Delhi on Tuesday discussed security and logistical issues with the Home Secretary. "We have discussed all security aspects. The tour is on," he told reporters here.

They also discussed visa clearances for the several top Pakistani dignitaries who are expected to visit India to watch the cricket matches. 

Dhoni, Afridi
MS Dhoni and Shahid Afridi shake hands at Mohali during the last bilateral ODI series in 2007. Pic/AFP

The series would comprise three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals between December 2012 and January 2013. The ODI matches are likely to be played in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi and the Twenty20 games in Bangalore and Ahmedabad. 

In July, the BCCI had decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the neighbouring country for a short series in December 2012-January 2013, to be sandwiched between the Test and ODI legs of the England team's tour of India.

The arch-rivals have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007 after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his then Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had watched the high-profile World Cup semi-final in Mohali last year.  

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