Rameez urges India to tour Pakistan

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 15 (UNI) Former Pakistan captain and now a widely travelled television commentator Rameez Raja has urged India to send its cricket team to Pakistan by saying the ''two countries need each other's backing''.

India is scheduled to visit Pakistan for three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 between January and February next year but the tour is already in doubt over security fears in the host country.

The cancellation of an Indian junior hockey team increased doubts over the cricket series.

''I see it as a tough situation for not only Pakistan but for world cricket but frankly speaking the security situation in major Pakistan cities like Lahore and Karachi is not that bad, so I think Indian must tour,'' Raja said here yesterday.

He described Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) idea of shifting the series to the neutral United Arab Emirates or England if the Indian government were to block the tour as negative.

''Shifting the India series will have multiple effects, more negative because neutral Tests are dead as there is no public interest and the charm of an Indo-Pak match is that their public savour it,'' the former captain said.

''It will also set a wrong precedent for other teams who are already reluctant on touring Pakistan so India must back Pakistan as they have backed us on the Champions Trophy and we lent support on the Indian Cricket League issue,'' he added.

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