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Karachi, Peshawar to host ODIs only
- PCB rejects split tour idea - Itinerary likely to be announced today

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has vetoed the idea of a split tour by Team India, but agreed not to schedule a Test in either Karachi or Peshawar. Both centres, however, will stage one ODI each.

The Indians, it may be recalled, have favoured spending the “least time” in Karachi and Peshawar — a stand influenced by security considerations.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the team is going to arrive here around March 9-10 and (tentatively) return home on April 17/18. The itinerary for the first full tour in over 14 years is expected to be formally announced on Saturday.

The first of three Tests will either be in Lahore (which has turned more green and is now bursting with shopping plazas) or Multan. One of those two centres is going to host the second, while the third Test will either be in Faisalabad or Rawalpindi.

It’s understood that the first of five ODIs is going to be in Karachi, with two matches awarded to the Gaddafi here. Rawalpindi and, of course, Peshawar will stage the remaining ODIs.

Actually, the itinerary was to have been jointly released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the PCB on Friday itself, but the former sought “reassurances” on security. It couldn’t be confirmed, but the bit about Indian security personnel accompanying Sourav Ganguly and Co. was “discussed.”

For the record, the hosts don’t have a problem with that.

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