India in Pakistan 2008-09 November 30, 2008

India's Pakistan tour in doubt

Cricinfo staff

India's scheduled tour of Pakistan in January stands closer than ever to being cancelled after reports suggested the government wanted to take a tougher line against Pakistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. A neutral venue may also be ruled out as an alternative.

The BCCI is yet to receive instructions from the Indian government. "In this atmosphere it looks [the tour] very difficult," a top board official told Cricinfo. The Indian board had written to the government seeking security clearance for the tour but has not received a reply yet.

Tensions between the two countries increased after allegations that the terrorists had Pakistani links. But Pakistan denied the accusations.

PTI quoted sources saying the chances of an Indian team going to Pakistan "is minimal". "It is for the government to inform the BCCI about the final decision but the situation is such that it appears that cricket between the two countries is unlikely," said the source.

Just hours before Wednesday's terrorist attacks, the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan had said they were hopeful the series goes ahead without further problems.

Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan board chairman, warned that teams refusing to tour countries because of security concerns was a "dangerous" scenario that could lead to a split in the game.

India's tour, from January 4 to February 19, includes three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international. India visited Pakistan in June-July for the Asia Cup this year, but concerns increased after the Champions Trophy, due to be held in September, was postponed following security concerns by some participating nations.