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Dhaka on track, a day delayed

Dhaka/New Delhi, Dec. 7: The Indian cricket team's Bangladesh tour is on, it was announced today after a security delegation from Delhi inspected the stadium in Dhaka and the five-star hotel where the players will put up.

But the tour will begin a day late because of the fiasco caused by a threat from a little-known militant group, the Harkat-ul-Jihad, to kill the Indian cricketers if they toured Bangladesh.

Captain Sourav Ganguly and his team are now expected to leave for Dhaka tomorrow morning, a day later than scheduled. As a result, the first Test in Dhaka will also be delayed by a day, starting now on December 10.

'Indian security officials and their Bangladesh counterparts carried out a thorough joint on-site inspection of the venue of the match, the hotel where the players will be accommodated as also the route which will be used for travel by the team. Our officials also made a number of recommendations for strengthening the security arrangements,' the external affairs ministry said in Delhi.

Led by Yashovardhan Azad, IG, VIP security, the four-member Indian delegation visited Bangabandhu National Stadium, the venue for most of the matches, and the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.

It is expected to go to the port city of Chittagong tomorrow which will host the second of the two Tests, likely to start also a day late on December 17, and a one-day match.

As of now, there is no change in the dates for one-day internationals.

On the basis of the report the delegation conveyed to Delhi, the Indian government has only cleared the matches in Dhaka so far and will take a decision on Chittagong later.

The team found the security measures satisfactory, said Reazuddin Al Mamun, chairman of the media committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The Indians made some suggestions that were accepted by Bangladesh, an official in Delhi said. Bangladesh home secretary Omar Farooq personally reviewed the arrangements and assured the implementation of all the additional measures requested by the Indian side.

'We deeply appreciate the cooperation and understanding extended to the Indian security team and personal interest which is being taken by the Bangladesh home secretary to ensure that there is no risk to the safety of the Indian cricket team,' the official said in a statement.

On Saturday, the Harkat-ul- Jihad sent a letter to the Indian high commission carrying the death threat.

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