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Inzy eager to face Sourav & Co.

Karachi: Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul Haq said on Tuesday he was anxiously waiting for Sourav Ganguly’s team, after India’s announcement of plans to tour its rival for the first time in 14 years.

“I want the wait to end as quickly as possible, not only me but billions of people across Pakistan and India and other parts of the world want to see both play each other as soon as possible,” Inzamam said.

On Sunday, India announced it is all set to tour Pakistan in March and April next year for a full Test series, their first tour since the 1989-90 season. “It’s a long and undue wait,” said Inzamam, who featured in all three Tests when Pakistan last toured India in 1998-99.

“I sincerely hope that we play series at least once in two years.” Inzamam’s counterpart Sourav Ganguly on Monday said he was delighted at the prospect of touring Pakistan.

“The frenzy is catching up and people have started to call us and say that they want us to beat India on home ground,” said Inzamam, who now leads a young side undergoing a rebuilding phase. Inzamam, batsman Yousuf Youhana and wicketkeeper Moin Khan, if selected, are the only ones left in Pakistan’s current team which played the series in India four years ago.

Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar is the only man in both the current teams to have featured in the series played in Pakistan in 1989-90. Javed Miandad, Pakistan’s vice captain in the series 14 years ago, is now the current Pakistan coach.

Inzamam denied India had a good chance of beating Pakistan. “No one should take us lightly. The way we won the series against South Africa goes to prove that we are shaping up well,” he said, referring to his side’s 1-0 home win over South Africa last month.

“If Indians have Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly we have the firepower of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami so it would be an evenly contested series.”

India snapped all bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan after blaming Pakistani-based militants for a deadly attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2000. The two sides have since played only one match, their World Cup fixture at Centurion, South Africa in March this year.

India’s offer last month to revive sporting links under a package of confidence-building measures has raised hopes of reviving stalled cricket ties.

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