India in Bangladesh 2004-05 December 7, 2004

Indian government gives green light to Bangladesh tour

Cricinfo staff

Indian and Bangladeshi officials inspects security at Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium © AFP

The Indian government today gave the board the green light to go ahead with the tour of Bangladesh. The five-man delegation sent by the Indian board (BCCI) to assess the security arrangements in Dhaka were satisfied with the situation on the ground and conveyed this to the government.

"The government has cleared the Dhaka matches and the squad will leave tomorrow from Calcutta," Rajiv Shukla, vice-president of the BCCI, told Reuters. "The security team will now travel to Chittagong and they will then advise us whether we can play there."

The Indian team will take the 11.30 plane for Bangladesh on Wednesday morning, but the delay means that first Test will not begin as scheduled, on Thursday December 9. It has been put back a day and will now commence on Friday December 10.

The team has already begun to assemble in Kolkata in preparation for the journey to Dhaka. Earlier in the day the Indian board's president, SK Nair, told Cricinfo: "The board has made arrangements for the team to leave even on the shortest possible notice. We have instructed the players to assemble in Kolkata by tonight or at the very latest by tomorrow morning. We have blocked tickets on several flights at different times and have kept our options open."

In Bangladesh, the threats made against the Indian squad by the previously unknown Harkat-ul Zihadi militant group are generally considered to be without foundation. Security is tight at Dhaka's Bangabandu cricket stadium, which has hosted India in a Test only once - back in 2000 when Bangladesh made their much-anticipated entrance onto the big stage.