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BCCI seeks security clearance for Pakistan tour

November 19, 2008 11:05 IST

The Indian cricket board has sought security clearance from the government for next year's tour of Pakistan, its president said on Wednesday.

"We have asked for the government clearance and will decide once it comes," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar told Reuters.

"The paramount concern is security. Till the time we get the clearance there is no question (of confirming the tour)."

India are scheduled to tour Pakistan from Jan. 13-Feb. 19, playing three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.

However, there are player safety concerns following a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan in the last few months.

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan this year and the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Champions Trophy in September over security concerns.

The ICC has re-scheduled the one-day tournament for Sept. 24- Oct. 5 next year but said it would monitor India's tour before confirming Pakistan as the venue.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), already worried about Test cricket due to reluctance of teams to travel, is concerned India may pull out on security grounds.

Its chiefs have suggested swapping Pakistan's 2010 tour of India or even staging the series in a neutral venue if the trip does not happen.

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