Delayed arrival denies Pakistanis practice

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Chandigarh/Mohali, Nov 6 (UNI) The Pakistani players could not go to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali due to delayed arrival along with the Indian cricketers after playing first one-day international at Guwahati at Hotel Taj.

However, after checking in Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik immediately left for the PCA Stadium in, Mohali. Malik was accompanied by coach Geoff Lawson and Media Manger Ehsan Malik.

On reaching the PCA Stadium, they went sagight to the ground and inspected the pitch before returning to their hotel.

According to the Punjab Cricket Association officials, the Pakistan team management had informed that their team would like to have practice on arrival in Chandigarh. The PCA made proper arrangements related to their practice session.

Both teams will practice tomorrow afternoon. According to GS Walia, the practice session for the Indian team will begin at 3 pm The Pakistan cricketers are scheduled to practice at 3.30 pm press conferences by Pakistan and India will be also be held before the players go to the nets.

Arriving amidst tight security, the media persons could not interact with the players. The journalists were eager to have Sachin Tendulkar's views on a report that he had declined the offer of the BCCI to become captain. Sachin did not speak to any one. BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has yet to arrive.

Meanwhile, BCCI joint secretary MP Pandove said that ''Sachin has not informed the board that he was not willing to captain the Indian team. On the contrary, the papers have reported that Sachin is available for captaincy.We have discussed the captain issue. It (captaincy) could go to any one -- senior or junior.'' Meanwhile, National Cricket Academy chairman Ravi Shastri, addressing a press conference at the PCA Stadium, stressed that Mahinder Singh Dhonia should not be burdened with captaincy in the Test match. By appointing Dhoni, who has proved his credential as captain by winning the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, Shastri feels that ''it would be putting pressure on Dhoni.'' UNI

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