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Musharraf seeks invite for series
Zeeshan Haider and Kamil Zaheer |
March 04, 2005 21:23 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has expressed interest in engaging in "cricket diplomacy" with India, as the sporting and political rivals prepare for a much-anticipated cricket Test match next week.
Indian officials expect more than 8,000 Pakistani fans to cross the border to watch the first Test and Musharraf told the Pakistan Observer newspaper he is also interested in taking in some of the tour of India, which will run to three five-day Tests and six one-day games.
"I love watching any sport. I would love to watch cricket," said Musharraf, a keen sportsman, but he added that the initiative would have to come from New Delhi.
"I don't believe in going without an invitation anywhere. If there is an invitation, one would like to consider."
Indian officials said they would issue more than 8,000 visas to Pakistani fans so they could attend the first Test, which starts on March 8 in Mohali in Punjab, near the Pakistan border. An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said 4,000 visas had been issued so far.
Indian railways will run special trains for visiting fans.