BCCI denies PCB claims, says tour hinges on govt clearance

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) The BCCI today refuted PCB's claims that they have assured their Pakistani counterparts that India's cricket tour next year will go on as per schedule.

BCCI President Shashank Manohar said the Indian Board had not given any assurance to the PCB on going ahead with the tour and insisted that the series is subject to the mandatory security clearance from the government.

''The tour will be finalised only when we get the clearance from the government. Nothing can be confirmed before that,'' Manohar said.

India is scheduled to play play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 match during their visit to Pakistan early next year.

Due to the prevailing security conditions in the strife-torn nation, the Indian government had refused permission to a junior hockey team to travel to Pakistan for a tournament earlier this month which has cast further doubts on the tour.

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) remains optimistic and had informed yesterday that the BCCI has assured them that India will go ahead with its tour in January 2009.

According to the PCB, Manohar has informed his Pakistan counterpart Ijaz Butt that he had written to the Indian government for security clearance and a reply was expected within 10 to 12 days.

Suffering from huge financial losses due to the postponement of the Champions Trophy and Australia's tour this year, the PCB is heavily relying on the upcoming home series against India for endorsements from sponsors.

Apart from money, India's tour to Pakistan will also help the PCB to regain the confidence of other Test playing nations like Australia and South Africa for hosting the home series as well as the rescheduled Champions Trophy.

The Pakistani cricket team has gone without a Test this year and if India backs out of next year's series, it would be a huge blow to the country's cricket.

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