Vol. 5 Num 295 Sat. March 26, 2005  

Annual Indo-Pak series on cards

Pakistan and India are planning to play a series every year from now on.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Hindi, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan also confirmed India will tour Pakistan early next year.

He said: "The BCCI and PCB have agreed to make this an annual feature. We might have a break for the World Cup in 2007, but it will resume the next year.

"With the ICC calendar being extended to six years, it will be easier to fit in the series every year."

India played in Pakistan last year -- their first tour of the country for almost 15 years.

Khan said no dates had been finalised for next year's series but said discussions were ongoing with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Khan also offered his backing to captain Inzamamul Haq, whose leadership has been called into question.

Pakistan have yet to win a Test series under the 35-year-old, and are trailing 1-0 in their Test series in India.

But the PCB chairman insisted: "Inzamam is the only world-class player we have at the moment. He is our best batsman and no one understands the game better than him.

"I would want him to lead the team at least till the 2007 World Cup.

"He will be 37 by then. I don't think a batsman should retire at that age but I think captaincy will be difficult then."