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Govt clears Pakistan for first cricket tour in India since Mumbai attack

New Delhi, Nov 1 (): On Tuesday, Indian government has given way for the Pakistani cricket team to make first cricket tour to India as the relations between India and Pakistan have frozen since 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

The Pakistan cricket team is estimated to play their first match on the Christmas Day and the ministers have faith that the series will highlight growing improvement in the relations between long-standing enemies.

BCCI’s announcement is an important boost for the Pakistan cricket team that has been exempted since 2008 from India and avoided by the other countries since Sri Lankan cricket team players were attacked by the Pakistani terrorists as they reached for an international cricket in 2009 in Lahore. Since then, Pakistan Cricket Board has also been continuously hit by match fixing scandal and corruption.

As per the reports given by BCCI officials, Pakistan cricket team will land on 22 December and play three ODIs and two T20 matches in Calcutta, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai.

There will be no matches in Mumbai, where the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba from Karachi slaughtered 166 commuters, guests of the hotel and security force members in a three-day riot in November 2008. However, in the past two years, relations between the two countries have improved significantly with several new agreements put forth between the countries.

Rajiv Shukla, Vice-President of BCCI, who is also a minister in Indian government, told that he believed this cricket tour would further improve the relations between two countries. He said that it was very important for both the countries. There is a need to involve with one another through unofficial, diplomatic and people to people exchanges. The fact was experienced in 2004-2005 tour and Rajiv Shukla expected the same would happen again when the series starts. He said there would be an immediate change in political atmosphere too.

Rajiv conveyed this message to prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and explained him that it was very essential to bring the people of both countries close to one another and he agreed. The visa and security arrangements have been finalized.

The tour is scheduled to take place at a Christmas break in England’s winter tour to India.