India’s no to cricketers for UAE match
NEW DELHI, April 27 (Reuters) - India's cricket board will not give permission for players to appear in a one-day game planned for next month in Abu Dhabi.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has neither accorded its approval for any such match nor would it release any of its current cricketers for the proposed match," secretary Karunakaran Nair said in a statement on Tuesday.
Cricket officials in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced plans last week to stage a one-day game on May 14 featuring leading Indian and Pakistani players to unveil their state-of-the-art cricket facility.
They hope eventually to receive the International Cricket Council's (ICC) approval to host one-day internationals at the 20,000-capacity Sheikh Zayed stadium, built at a cost of $22 million.
But Nair said the BCCI was surprised to see media reports on such a match, which reported India and Pakistan captains Sourav Ganguly and Inzamam-ul-Haq would lead the teams.
India have just completed a high-profile test and one-day series victory in Pakistan in their first full tour across the border for over 14 years.
Traditional rivalry and the support of a big expatriate population from both countries have always ensured huge interest in India-Pakistan contests in the original Gulf venue of Sharjah.
But India have not played in Sharjah since a federal police report on cricket match-fixing in 2000 said such contests encouraged corruption.
UAE CRICKET CHIEF
AFP adds from ABU DHABI - In a bid to rescue an exhibition match between Indian and Pakistani XIs in the United Arab Emirates, the top official of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Control Board (ADCCB) has gone to India, newspapers said.
Before reportedly flying out, ADCCB president and managing director B.R. Shetty told Gulf News invitations had already been sent to Indian and Pakistani officials to attend the 100,000-dollar inaugural match set for May 14 at the new Zayed Stadium.
"We are expecting PCB chief Shaharyar Khan and BCCI secretary S.K. Nair to attend," Shetty told the daily on Tuesday.
After India's cricket chief Jagmohan Dalmiya revealed Monday he was unaware that Indian and Pakistani teams would be playing in the oil-rich emirate, the Press Trust of India carried a Nair statement saying the game had not been approved and BCCI cricketers would not be released to play.
However Shetty said: "I have spoken to Dalmiya and apart from inviting him, we have urged him to send us a message on the inaugural match.
"For us it is a matter of great pride that almost all the top players from both India and Pakistan have accepted our invitation to come and kick start international action at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium."
Cancellation would prove embarrassing at the highest level in the UAE capital where Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, ADCCB chairman, had himself announced the game.
Sheikh Nahyan is minister for higher education and a favoured son of revered UAE President Sheikh Zayed.