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PCB expects big profit from Indian tour

Faisalabad: Pakistani cricket authorities are predicting that one tour by arch-rivals India will help them recover two years worth of financial losses.

“We have launched our preparations and hope that next year we erase our losses,” Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Rameez Raja told reporters Monday. The Indian government last week said it was ready to resume all sporting ties with Pakistan. India had cancelled scheduled tours to Pakistan three times in the last three years.

“We have received a letter from (the Board of Control for Cricket in India) president Jagmohan Dalmiya in which he has formally informed us of their government’s clearance, asking for a fresh itinerary,” said Raja.

The PCB estimates it has lost $ 25 million by playing foreign teams at neutral venues since the US-led campaign against terror in neighbouring Afghanistan. “We have four Indian companies lined up to co-sponsor the series. We have a good chance to market the (Pakistan-India series) and make up for India’s refusal and several other losses,” said Raja.

Raja said India have requested for a new itinerary for next year’s Test series in Pakistan which will be their first full tour of the country since 1989. “The Indian board wants us to send them a fresh itinerary since the Indian team would be in Australia until February 14,” Raja said. “They want a ten-day rest period for their players before coming to Pakistan. We will be finalising the fresh itinerary very soon,” he said.

Pakistan have proposed a series of seven ODIs and three Tests against India scheduled for February and March 2004.

The Indian government had long said its refusal to allow its national team to play Pakistan in cricket was a matter of protecting national interest, and that such ties couldn’t resume until cross-border violence ended.

India have not played a Test in Pakistan since 1989-90, when the four-Test series was drawn 0-0. India’s star batsman Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut in that series.

Pakistan last toured India in 1999, playing three Test matches. Tours thereafter have fallen through, and even the current tour of South Africa was on the condition that Peshwar and Karachi be kept out of the itinerary. (Agencies)

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