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October 30, 2008
The Pakistan Cricket Board is confident of getting all its stadiums ready to host the home series against India in January and February. The board has decided to spend Rs 800 million on refurbishing all five venues for the tour, which includes three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20.
Salim Altaf, the PCB's director general, is confident the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium will be ready in time to host the second Test and third one-dayer. The venue was dropped from the Champions Trophy as the renovation work wasn't complete and the ICC wasn't convinced about the security situation there. The tournament was eventually postponed due to security concerns.
"We've already started our homework for the series against India," Altaf told the News. "Each venue, including Rawalpindi, will be ready to host the home series against India."
Pakistan haven't played a Test for ten months and the last team to tour the country for a full Test series was South Africa, towards the end of 2007. Australia postponed their scheduled tour in March for security reasons and the board's efforts to fit a short Test series against West Indies in November failed. The India series has been confirmed and Altaf has assured top security for the visitors.
"Security will not be a problem as all necessary arrangements will be made to ensure the safety of the players and officials," he said.
The Tests will be played at Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore, while the one-dayers will be played at the same cities, plus Multan and Faisalabad. The tour ends with the one-off Twenty20 in Karachi.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.