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September 20, 2007
Pakistan board officials are satisfied with New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla as the venue for the first Test against India in late November. Zakir Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board's director of operations, and security expert Sohail Khan are in India to inspect venues for the three-Test and five-ODI series between India and Pakistan.
"The ground was not really ready when Pakistan played an ODI here last time [April 17, 2005]. But it's good to see that things have changed since then and hopefully we would see a great Test match here," Zakir Khan told PTI. "The pitch was under-prepared last time and the match was hurriedly arranged. But the ground looks better now.
"We are here to see the arrangements and hold discussions with security officials. If players need anything extra, we would convey it to them. It's a routine recce visit and we are happy with whatever we saw here." Zakir Khan, who played two Tests and 17 ODIs for Pakistan, said that the Kotla looked a "completely different ground" from when he played there in 1987.
SS Sareen, a senior Delhi and District Cricket Association official, said the PCB delegation were firm on spectators not bringing in bottles of water, as a measure of security.
Zakir Khan and Sohail Khan will then meet with BCCI officials on September 24 before returning home to submit a report to the PCB. The Kotla Test will be between November 22 and 26.
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