Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 19:14 GMT
World: South Asia
Hindu activists call off cricket protest
The Pakistani team arrive under tight security
A militant Hindu group threatening to disrupt the test series between India and Pakistan have announced they are to suspend their campaign of protests.
Security had been heightened because of fears that extremists would try to sabotage the tournament.
Despite the announcement suspending the protest, police officials said security would remain tight.
At a press conference following the Pakistani team's arrival, their manager, Shahryar Khan, said they had brought a goodwill message from the prime minister and the people of Pakistan.
The Shiv Sena is an ally of the governing BJP in Delhi and in Maharasthra state.
Appeal for calm
Politicians on both sides had called for tolerance and calm ahead of the match, coming less than a year after both countries carried out nuclear tests.
However, police confirmed that at least 30 people were being held under preventative detention rules in Tamil Nadu as fears for the safety of the players continued.
On Monday, an unidentified group broke into the headquarters of India's Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had shifted its office to Calcutta, wounding one official in the process.
Leading politicians, including the vice-president of the ruling BJP, pointed the finger at the militant Hindu party Shiv Sena - but the party denied any involvement.
While India's cricket team returned from touring New Zealand to a secret location, the opposition congress party staged rallies in Bombay and Delhi calling for the arrest of Bal Thackeray, leader of Shiv Sena.
Politician named tour boss
The decision by Pakistan to name former foreign secretary Shahryar Khan as team manager reflected their concerns over the sensitivity of the event.
Khalid Mahmood, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said: "Because of the tour being very sensitive, we felt we needed someone like him.
"Naturally there is a feeling of concern and anxiety. I hope we can focus on cricket."
"It definitely means a lot to play in India," he said.
The two sides have not played a Test match since 1987 but have played one-day internationals.
India have named two uncapped players, all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla and opening batsman Sadagopan Ramesh, in a 14-man squad for the first Test in Madras.
Navjot Sidhu and Ajay Jadeja have lost their places after poor form in the recent series in New Zealand.
Indian squad: Mohammad Azharuddin (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Javagal Srinath, Nayan Mongia (wkt), Harbhajan Singh, Sunil Joshi, Sadagopan Ramesh, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Venkatesh Prasad, Anil Kumble.