Pakistan in India 2004-05 February 6, 2005

Pakistan don't want to play in Ahmedabad

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan have objected to playing in Ahmedabad after an inspection by their security team. Pakistan were due to play their second Test against India at the venue, which is in the state of Gujarat, where communal riots occured in 2002.

Shaharyar Khan told the BBC that the Pakistan Board's objections had been made officially to the BCCI. "We have reservations in playing there and we have suggested changes to the BCCI. We haven't suggested any alternate venues. We will play anywhere else they want us to play."

This news is unlikely to please the BCCI, which has insisted that Ahmedabad is a safe venue and that precautions will be taken to avert any unpleasant incidents. And since matches are awarded to associations on a rotational basis, the Indian board will have to tread lightly to avoid stepping on toes at home and abroad.

However, Shaharyar stood firmly behind the security report presented to him. "There are possibilities of security problems erupting and tensions running high," he said. "We have informed the Indian board of our concerns and we hope to settle the issue mutually."

The BCCI was quick to move after receiving notice of the Pakistan board's concerns, referring the matter to the government. "The PCB has written a letter to the BCCI president expressing some reservations over Ahmedabad as a venue," The Indian Express quoted Rajiv Shukla, vice-president of the BCCI, as saying. "We have now taken up the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs."