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Govt. invite to Musharraf expected
March 08, 2005 22:40 IST
It is understood that the Government of India has decided to invite Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to witness the matches in the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series.
The Ministry of External Affairs has been asked to contact its counterpart in Islamabad and work out the details.
When contacted, senior Board of Control for Cricket in India vice-president Rajiv Shukla, said, "The BCCI would welcome if President Musharraf comes to India. But the visit has to be arranged by the government. We are in touch with the government in this regard though nothing has been decided so far."
The BCCI expressed its desire to invite President Musharraf for the second Test, at Kolkata from March 16 to 20.
"We are talking to the Sports Ministry on this matter. Since we come under the Sports Ministry, we have approached them. Now it is up to the government to act and send a formal request to President Musharraf," BCCI chief Ranbir Singh Mahendra said on Tuesday.
Asked whether the Board is following protocol in extending the invitation to Musharraf, Mahendra replied, "We are not directly inviting him. It is for the government to invite."
Musharraf had reportedly evinced interest in visiting India to watch one of the matches in the series.
Musharraf, also the Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, witnessed one of the one-dayers when India visited Pakistan last year for a Test and one-day series after a 14-year gap.