The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Peshawar unlikely to host second ODI
- Final decision after consulting interior secretary

Karachi: The Indian cricket squad’s itinerary for its tour of Pakistan looks headed for another change with Peshawar unlikely to host the second one-dayer, leaving Pakistan cricket board (PCB) to grapple with yet another problem barely a week before India’s arrival.

The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government has written to the PCB that it cannot host the second one-day International in Peshawar on February 8.

The letter from the NWFP province government was received a couple of days ago and PCB has been discussing the situation with Pakistan interior ministry.

A top PCB official said a final decision on Peshawar would be made in the next 48 hours in consultation with interior secretary.

“PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan is meeting the interior secretary in Islamabad on Monday and the final decision would be made in that meeting,” a top PCB official said.

“The NWFP government has expressed its inability to host the match in the wake of Muharram. They feel they don’t have enough manpower to provide top grade security to the two teams and also maintain complete law and order in the city and the adjoining areas,” the official said.

The official said similar excuse was given by the federal capital authorities that forced PCB to swap the Rawalpindi one-dayer with Peshawar.

Peshawar was originally scheduled to host the February 6 one-dayer while Rawalpindi was awarded the February 8 game.

Another PCB official, requesting anonymity, said PCB had also discussed the situation with BCCI and had verbally proposed to reduce the gap between the first and the second Test by a day.

“We suggested to the BCCI that if we reduce the gap between Lahore and Faisalabad Test, we could overcome the problem. But the Indian board has rejected that proposal,” the official said.

The Lahore Test begins on February 13 while the Faisalabad Test starts on February 21.

The PCB official further said the option of Lahore staging two one-day Internationals could be ruled out but that would be the last option.

“We want to have a game in Peshawar but only when we are assured of complete security for the two teams and promise that there will be no administration problems during the teams’ stay in Peshawar.”

The Indian board was yet to formally approve the latest itinerary that was sent to it a couple of weeks ago. But this latest twist in the tale is certainly going to delay the finalisation further.

However, PCB remains confident that the Indians would arrive in Lahore on January 5. (PTI)

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