Pak ready to shift Test series to India

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Lahore, Nov 18 (UNI) With the national team yet to play a Test this year, and the home series against India in doubt due to security concerns, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is willing to shift the event to the neighbouring country.

''Pakistan cricket has already suffered a lot because of teams refusing to play at our venues. We are counting on India to break the ice,'' PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said yesterday. ''But if the Indians are not permitted by their government to tour Pakistan for any reason then we can look at the option of swapping the series with India.'' India are due to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 game during the tour which begins in January next year but the volatile security situation in the country has put the series under a cloud.

The Indian government stopped a junior hockey team from touring Pakistan at the last moment earlier this month over security concerns which has given rise to speculation that their cricket team will also be prevented from touring.

The Pakistan team is desparate for some top class international action after Australia pulled out of their scheduled tour and the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the prestigious Champions Trophy after facing a possible boycott from five of the eight teams in the field.

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