International cricket returned to Pakistan after some time on Friday when the home team was set to play Sri Lanka in the first of the three ODIs at the National Stadium in Karachi. However, history had to wait as the game could not be held because of heavy rain. Even the toss was not possible after heavy downpour left the outfields waterlogged. The match was always under threat of rain and the impact was so heavy that the second match, due to be held at the same venue, was rescheduled to September 30. The third and final game will take place on October 2.
However, despite the threatening clouds, the excitement around the match was always building up. This was supposed to be Karachi’s first ODI in 10 years. Though a number of top Sri Lankan players have pulled out of the tour citing security reasons and the tour itself had looked uncertain after the Sri Lankan government issued a warning but eventually it started.
Pakistan authorities not touching the issue too deeply
Over two dozen Indians besides people from other countries have arrived in Karachi to cover the series even though the relations between the two neighbours are not at their best now. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which is desperate to make this tour by Sri Lanka a success to regain the trust of the international cricket fraternity, has conceded the presence of the Indian media crew in Karachi but is avoiding to give details, keeping in mind the sensitivity of the India factor.
Sources in the PCB, meantime, have conceded that a company, owned by an Indian national Aneel Mohan, is covering the cricket series in Pakistan, Pakistan’s The News International reported. A top source in the PCB said on the condition of anonymity that the PCB had made a contract with Japan-registered Ten Sports for coverage of the event and Sony India is a major shareholder in that company.
He even made a political point saying Pakistan is not intolerant like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is a goodwill gesture on part of Pakistan that Indian nationals are covering the cricket series on its soil. The PCB also said that the services of Mohan were being availed since Pakistan lacks state-of-the-art television technology.
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