BCCI says Pakistan cleared to tour India


The BCCI announced on Tuesday that it has secured government clearance to host Pakistan for a short tour later this year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has invited Pakistan to play three one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches in December-January, the first bilateral contests between the arch-rivals in five years.

"We have discussed all security aspects (and) the tour is on," board spokesman Rajiv Shukla told reporters after a meeting between its officials and Indian Home Secretary R. K. Singh in New Delhi.

A report by the Press Trust of India said the venues for the ODI games would most likely be Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi while the Twenty20 matches would take place in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The rivals have not played a series since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007, after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai by militants from Pakistan.

Cricket ties have been the subject of discussions between the governments of both nuclear-armed countries. They have been holding regular meetings in a bid to improve relations and eventually thrash out a peace agreement.

The countries -- where cricket is hugely popular -- have fought three wars since independence in 1947. The Indian and Pakistani cricket teams have only met in international tournaments since 2007. They clashed in the ODI World Cup semi-final in the northern Indian town of Mohali last year, a match that was attended by both countries' prime ministers.

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