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Team India may visit Pakistan in Sept for tri-series

Qaiser Mohammad Ali (IANS)
Lahore, January 15, 2006
India may again tour Pakistan in September for a one-day triangular series also involving Australia, just before the Champions Trophy in India, a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Sunday.

"A triangular series could take place in Pakistan in September involving India, Pakistan and Australia," PCB CEO Saleem Altaf said.

"We are talking with the Indian and Australian cricket boards but the tournament has not been finalised. It all depends on the feasibility of the dates considering Pakistan's tight international schedule," said the former Test pacer on the third day of the first India-Pakistan Test here.

Only on Saturday, Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar had announced a new annual five-match one-day series between India and Pakistan at undecided offshore venues. The series, which could be held in venues like California and New Jersey in the US, will make the encounters between the two countries more frequent.

A day after Pawar's announcement comes the confirmation of discussions between the Indian, Pakistani and Australian boards for the possible triangular series.

If the triangular eventually takes place it will be tightly sandwiched between Pakistan's tour of England and the 10-team Champions Trophy Oct 7-Nov 5 with the final at Mumbai.

The Indian team is relatively more comfortably placed during that period.

Altaf said that Pakistan team's tight international itinerary was the only hitch in finalising the itinerary.

"It's to be looked into from a practical point of view. Pakistan is returning from England on Sep 12 and will immediately play two Tests against Zimbabwe in the split home series," he said.

After the Tests against Zimbabwe, Pakistan will travel to India for the Champions Trophy and return home to play three one-day internationals against Zimbabwe, he said.

Pakistan will then play three Tests and five one-day internationals against the West Indies and will be off to South Africa in the first week of January 2007, before heading for the West Indies Feb 26 for the World Cup, pointed out Altaf.

"We are looking into the practicality of the triangular series. We will take a decision after taking to (captain) Inzamam-ul-Haq and (coach) Bob Woolmer," he said.
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