PCB inspection team gives thumbs up to Kotla

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (UNI) A two-member Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) delegation today expressed satisfaction at the ground conditions and security arrangement being made at Ferozeshah Kotla here where India host Pakistan in the first Test of the three-match series in November.

PCB Director of Cricket Operations Zakir Khan and Lahore DCP Sohail Khan, who were on a visit to the country to inspect the eight venues for the upcoming Novemnber 6 to December 12 Pakistan tour, said they were satisfied with the arrangements at Kotla.

''We are happy with the ground conditions and security arrangements. I hope we will have a wonderful Test here,'' Zakir said of Kotla which hosts the first Test from November 22 to 26.

''Our task is to see the arrangements, to have discussions with the cricket and security authorities. We will make suggestions to BCCI in areas where we think need changes and improvements. But, we cannot disclose it now,'' he said.

Zakir, who was here earlier during Pakistan's tour to India in 2005, said the Kotla ground has become much better and was happy that the stadium has been given a facelift.

The duo were stated to come here later as they were scheduled to visit Jaipur first but a technical snag of the Kingfisher Airline aircraft which was to take them there made them decide to inspect Kotla instead.

They inspected the pitch, outfield and dressing room and were accompanied by DDCA official SS Sarin and BCCI Cricket Operations Manager Suru Nayak.

''Last time, the pitch was underprepared but the match went on.

This time I think the ground conditions will be much better. I hope the constructions which are going on now are also completed in time before the match,'' said the 44-year-old Zakir, who played two Tests for Pakistan between 1986 and 1989.

Kotla hosted Pakistan in the last ODI of the six-match series in April 2005 and India lost the match by 159 runs and the series 2-4.

The PCB officials said they would meet BCCI officials in Mumbai on September 24 and give their assessment of all the venues.

Sarin later told reporters that the PCB team had asked to ban taking of water bottles inside the stadium.

''They said when Pakistan played here last time, the spectators had thrown water bottles into the ground, so they want water bottles to be banned from been taken inside the stadium,'' Sarin said.

''They said they are satisfied with the security arrangements and ground conditions here,'' he added.

The PCB delegation had already inspected Green Park at Kanpur and will leave for Gwalior tomorrow. They will be in Mohali on Friday.

Then they will go to Guwahati, Kolkata and Bangalore before meeting BCCI officials in Mumbai.

The second Test is scheduled from November 30 to December 4 in Kolkata, while Bangalore hosts the third and final Test from December 8-12.

The venues for ODIs are Guwahati (November 6), Mohali (November 9), Kanpur (November 11), Gwalior (November 15) and Jaipur (November 18).

UNI

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