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).
In troubled waters!
I Details of instances when the wicket was damaged in international cricket:
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.
The Pakistani team was scheduled to tour India when local Shiv Sena activists damaged the strip at the Wankhede stadium. The tour was subsequently cancelled.
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.
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 by security-guards