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Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

India tour of Pakistan in doubt

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik has not led Pakistan in a Test match since December 2007

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has admitted the terror attacks in Mumbai have cast doubt over India's Test tour of Pakistan in January.

Butt revealed a decision would be made by Tuesday, with the Indian board awaiting clearance from its government.

"Before this tragic incident took place we were pretty confident the Indians would tour," he said.

"Now the scenario has definitely changed and now it is entirely up to the governments what they decide."

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman said: "Since the tour is in January there is still some time. We are discussing the issue."

Pakistan have not played a Test series since December 2007, and Butt insists they will do everything they can to ensure it can go ahead.

"My efforts are to have as much Test cricket as possible in the coming year so the boys can get in tune with Test cricket," he added.

England returned home on Saturday from their base in Bhubaneswar following the terrorist incidents, which killed at least 110 people and have injured another 300, while India's Champions League cricket tournament, which was due to start on 3 December, has been postponed.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is waiting for England to confirm the two-Test tour of India, which is due to start on 11 December.

"It is not an ideal situation for anyone," said Butt.

"But if India do come for the tour it will send a clear-cut message to these terrorists they cannot deter the people of both countries from leading normal lives.

"We are trying 200% to have the Indians play in Pakistan. If they don't come then we have the option of playing at neutral venues."

Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf believes the tour should still go ahead.

"Cricket is a big thing and a binding force for the people of Pakistan and India," said the senior batsman.

"The Indian team must play in Pakistan or it will only encourage the terrorist elements.

"It is also important to continue cricket activities. What happened in Mumbai was horrifying but authorities must not allow terrorists to derail cricket activities."

India are due to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game on a tour lasting 46 days.

The Indian team did not go on a full tour of Pakistan for nearly 15 years until 2004 due to political tensions.

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see also
Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia
Mumbai hotel 'under army control'
28 Nov 08 |  South Asia
India in Pakistan 2008-09
24 Sep 08 |  Cricket

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