Pakistan begin India tour in Bangalore
Pakistan will arrive in Bangalore for the India tour on December 22 and will play the first Twenty20 international on Christmas Day. The schedule, announced by the BCCI on Thursday, has the second T20 in Ahmedabad on December 27; Chennai will host the first ODI three days later and the two remaining one-dayers will be played in Kolkata and Delhi on January 3 and 6.
The BCCI's announcement came following the Indian home ministry's approval of the tour on Tuesday. The series is sandwiched between two legs of England's tour of India. England play the second and final T20 international in Mumbai on December 22 - the day Pakistan arrive - before heading home for Christmas. The ODI series between England and India starts on January 11, five days after Pakistan wind up their tour.
Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, welcomed the announcement and said that the series was long due. "This is a great news for the people of both Pakistan and India," Ashraf told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium. "You can't just clap with one hand. Both countries need each other and that strengthens the relationship. The series will be a big breakthrough and a revival of our cricketing relationship with India."
Pakistan will play their first bilateral series against India since touring the country in end-2007. However, they have met in multinational tournaments - their last meeting was in the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Cricket ties between the two countries were snapped following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai by militants from Pakistan.