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Shahed Sadullah, English editor Jang newspaper
"Kashmir should be kept entirely separate from cricket"
 real 56k

The BBC's Satish Jacob in Delhi
"The cancellation has come as a big blow to millions of people"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 15 November, 2000, 14:57 GMT
Pakistan angry at cricket boycott
Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammed Azharuddin in 1989
Kapil, Tendulkar and Azharuddin toured Pakistan in '89
Pakistan has threatened to boycott cricket matches with India after Delhi's decision to pull out of a tour next month.

The Indian Government blocked a scheduled visit by the Indian cricket team to Pakistan because of what it described as hostile relations between the two countries.

Relations between Delhi and Islamabad have been frosty since last year's conflict in the disputed region of Kashmir.


This puts us in a position where we would like to review our relationship with India
  Tauqir Zia, Pakistan Cricket Board
India's cricketers have not played a full Test series in Pakistan since 1989.

Pakistan Cricket Board officials said they were shocked at the decision.

"This puts us in a position where we would like to review our relationship with India and may not play them even in offshore, tri-nations, one-day events," reports quoted PCB chairman, Tauqir Zia, as saying.

"We will lose lots of money because of the decision not to tour Pakistan," Zia said.

India were scheduled to play three Tests and five one-day internationals during their first Test tour of Pakistan in 11 years.

High-level meeting

Government sources told the United News of India that the decision to cancel the tour had been taken on Tuesday night after a meeting between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and recently-appointed Sports Minister Uma Bharti.

The decision was then communicated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

"We have been told that the government does not want the team to go to Pakistan because the atmosphere was not conducive to play cricket," a BCCI source told the French News Agency (AFP).

Pakistani cricket authorities had set Wednesday as the deadline for the BCCI to confirm or cancel the tour.

Kashmir conflict

This is the second time in three months that the Indian Government has refused to clear a cricket series against Pakistan.

Indian soldiers in Kargil
The two countries came close to an all-out war
The annual Sahara Cup series in Canada in September was cancelled for the second consecutive year.

Official contact between the two countries has been frozen since May last year when Indian troops began a fierce 10-week battle against Pakistan-backed forces in the Kargil region of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Tension has also risen after last year's military takeover in Pakistan by General Pervez Musharraf.

India believes the Pakistan army, headed by General Musharraf, planned and executed the Kargil conflict in an attempt to cut off strategic Indian supply routes to its forward bases.

The conflict brought the two freshly declared nuclear powers to the brink of a fourth war.

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See also:

10 Nov 00 |  Cricket
Indians hopeful of Pakistan tour
26 Jul 00 |  South Asia
India marks Kargil 'victory'
08 Sep 00 |  South Asia
Vajpayee tough on Pakistan
28 May 99 |  General News
India and Pakistan pledge to play on
02 Aug 00 |  South Asia
Flashpoint Kashmir: Special Report
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