Eactly a year ago, doubts were raised on whether
India's tour of Pakistan would take place at all.
Then a three-member Indian squad went across the
border on a reconnaissance trip to inspect the
security arrangements at different venues. Pakistan
did the same thing a few days ago, when a special
team came over to take a look at the Indian venues
that have been earmarked to host the Tests and
one-day internationals. But the forthcoming series
is already in troubled water with Pakistan refusing
to play at Ahmedabad (see table II below ) and Shiv
Sena activists damaging a portion of the playing
strips at Mohali (see table I below).
Table: I Details of instances when the
wicket was damaged in international cricket:
1975: The Ashes series match at Headingley,
Leeds was abandoned after vandals, campaigning for
the release of a convicted criminal, sabotaged the
Rugby Ground End of the pitch with knives and oil.
The match was poised for a great finish with
Australia needing 225 to win with seven wickets in
hand, but it had to be abandoned.
1991: The Pakistani team was scheduled to
tour India when local Shiv Sena activists damaged
the strip at the Wankhede stadium. The tour was
1999: On the eve of Pakistan's last tour of
India in 1998-99, activists dug up the Test pitch
in Delhi , forcing the Indian Board to move the
first Test against Paksitan to Chennai.
2005: In what appears to be yet another
churlish act of vandalism, six miscreants claiming
to be members of Shiv Sena made a crude attempt to
damage the pitch at the PCA Stadium in Mohali where
the first Test of the forthcoming Indo-Pak series
will be played in three weeks time. About 50
Sainiks raised slogans before attempting to enter
stadium at Green Park, Kanpur but were denied entry