|Tuesday, 1 March 2005|
Heavy security greets Pakistan cricketers
NEW DELHI, Monday (AFP) - Pakistan's cricket team, captained by Inzamam-ul Haq, flew into India amid tight security on Monday for their first full tour across the border since 1999.
The 16-man squad and the support staff, led by coach Bob Woolmer, arrived at the heavily-guarded Indira Gandhi airport in the Indian capital by a Pakistan International flight from Lahore.
Gun-toting commandoes kept a strict vigil as the tourists were whisked off in buses to their downtown hotel. The 10-kilometre (6.2 miles) route from the airport to the hotel was dotted with securitymen in uniform and plainclothes.
Hindu fundamentalists have threatened to disrupt the tour in protest at what they say is Pakistan support to militancy in the disputed region of Kashmir.
Inzamam's team will stay overnight in New Delhi before boarding a chartered aircraft on Tuesday morning for Dharamshala, the northern hill resort where the three-day tour opener against the Indian board president's team starts on Thursday.
Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and six one-day internationals on their first major tour of India since 1999 when they drew the two-Test series 1-1 and won the Asian Test championship match in Calcutta.
The first Test begins in the northern town of Mohali on March 8 followed by back-to-back Tests in Calcutta and Bangalore.
The one-day internations will be played from April 2 at Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Ahmedabad, Kanpur and New Delhi.
Cricket ties between the warring neighbours, disrupted since 2000 due to political tensions, were revived in March last year when India toured Pakistan for their first Test series since 1989.
India won both the Test and one-day series on the pathbreaking tour.
Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul Haq (capt), Younis Khan (vice-capt), Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Taufeeq Umar, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul Hasan, Mohammad Khalil.
Produced by Lake House