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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 June, 2003, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
India 'to play Pakistan'
Dravid and Anwar during the World Cup
India have yet to be cleared to face Pakistan away from the World Cup

Pakistan claim India have agreed to play two one-day internationals against their cricket team in September.

Rameez Raja, chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told GEO Television that a single match would be played in each country.

"We had some fruitful discussions during the ICC executive board meeting in London and this is what has been decided," he said.

The only possible obstacle to the matches going ahead is the Indian government, because the Indian cricket board has already said it would like to play cricket against Pakistan forthwith.

A tournament in which second-string teams from both sides will meet in Sri Lanka has already been agreed.

The A-teams of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will compete in a one-day triangular tournament, named the Emerging Trophy, from August 15 to 22

And organisers hope to make the event annual, rotating the venue between the participating countries.

Tensions

Since 2000, India's government has prevented the senior side from playing Pakistan in any tournament except the World Cup, because of tensions over disputed border territory.

"At least a start has been made - it will be a good opportunity for our bench strength to gain experience," said an official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

India have not played a Test match in Pakistan since 1989, while Pakistan played three Tests in India in 1999-2000 despite threats from Hindu fundamentalists to disrupt the tour.

Indian sports minister Vikram Verma recently hinted at a change of heart by the government.

"Earlier we used to outright reject any proposal by cricket officials to play against Pakistan; now we are willing to consider such proposals," he said.


Emerging Trophy schedule:
Aug 15: Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A
Aug 16: India A v Sri Lanka A
Aug 17: India A v Pakistan A
Aug 18: Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A
Aug 19: India A v Sri Lanka A
Aug 20: India A v Pakistan A
Aug 22: Final



SEE ALSO
India seek Pakistan solution
29 Apr 03  |  Cricket
Cricket trivial, says Musharraf
13 Jun 03  |  Cricket
India A start with win
25 Jun 03  |  Cricket

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