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Kashmir to host international cricket match: Official

Srinagar, Thursday, March 01, 2008:

The summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir will soon host an international cricket match, region's topmost police officer said Friday.

"We are intending to organise an international cricket match at Srinagar to give a message to rest of the world that peace has been restored in the region," the Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said addressing a news conference in the winter capital Jammu.

While Khoda claimed the return of normalcy in the insurgency-hit region, four militants were killed in a gunfight with Indian troops in south Kashmir's Shopian area while a trooper of the Indian territorial army abducted a woman in central Kashmir's Kulgam area.

"Peace has prevailed in the region. Now we are able to hold different sports events in Kashmir," Khoda said.

However the DGP didn't announce the date when the cricket match would be held.

The last international cricket match held in Srinagar's Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium was held between India and Allan Border's Australia in the autumn of 1986.

Indian administered Kashmir has hosted two international cricket matches, the other one being between India and Clive Lloyd's West Indies in the autumn of 1983, the same year India became world champions defeating the West Indies at Lords.

The raucous support the West Indians received prompted Lloyd to wonder if the match had been played in the Caribbean rather than in India.

The Indian team, facing hostile crowds, lost both matches.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also expressed the desire to host international cricket matches in Indian administered Kashmir.

"We are seriously considering it," Dalmiya had said.

He had said that that region's government has informed him the time was ripe to bring back big cricket to Kashmir valley and added that the BCCI might decide to host a Test match or one-day international in Kashmir in the near future.



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