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Blasts take a toll on Indo-Pak sports action

July 19, 2006 18:17 IST

The Mumbai blasts have taken its toll on India-Pakistan sporting ties, with two upcoming tournaments featuring the two countries being deferred indefinitely.

The Indo-Pak Peace Cup Snooker Championship, slated for September, and the Indo-Pak Kabaddi series, scheduled to begin on Thursday in Jalandhar, were cancelled owing to the "tense" situation in the wake of the recent serial blasts in Mumbai.

The snooker team event was slated to be held from September 4 to 10, at Phulwari in Pragati Maidan, but the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India and its Pakistan counterparts mutually decided to call off the competition.

"Under such tense circumstances we decided with mutual consent to postpone the event, because it is not possible for us to give security to all their team members," BSFI secretary R R Tandon said.

President of the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation Ali Asghar Valika, in his response to the BSFI's correspondence, said, "Due to the present situation it may be better if the series could be held after the Asian Games (in Doha in December)."

Tandon said players would have preferred that the event to be held as scheduled, because it would have been good practice for them ahead of the Games.

"We had all the arrangements in place, right from booking the venue and hotel rooms.

The Pakistan team included former World champion Saleh Mohammad, national championship finalist Imran Shahzad, Khurram Hussain Agha and Naveen Kumar Parwani, while the Indian team comprised Pankaj Advani, Yasin Merchant and Manan Chandra among others.

General secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Amateur Kabaddi Association Kuldeep Gupta said the bilateral kabaddi series was cancelled since clearance could not be obtained from the government.

Jammu, which was to host the second tie of the five-match series, got a communication to this effect from the Indian Amateur Kabaddi Association.

"The series has been cancelled in view of the clearance not being given by the Government of India in the aftermath of Mumbai blasts," Gupta said.

The third match was to be played at Delhi, fourth at Haryana and the fifth and last at Jaipur.

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