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Sourav leads boys into Lahore
Cricket ties resumed after 15 years

Lahore, March 10
Making their first full fledged tour of Pakistan in nearly 15 years, the Indian cricket team, led by captain Sourav Ganguly, arrived here today amidst tight security to play a series of five one-day matches and three Tests.

A special Indian Airlines flight carrying the 15-member Indian one-day squad and officials landed at the heavily-guarded Allama Iqbal Airport where they were received by Pakistan Cricket Board’s Manager, Cricket Operations, Mr Zakir Khan, Media Manager Sami-ul Hassan and officials of the Lahore city administration.

The airport’s exit and entry routes were tightly guarded by the police and only photographers and television crew were allowed inside to report the team’s arrival.

The heavy security deployment kept the fans away from the airport.

After a quick immigration check, the team was whisked off to a five-star hotel in a bullet-proof bus in a convoy of 10 security vehicles carrying military guards and commandos through a short cut route. The entire route to Hotel Pearl Continental was sanitised and no traffic was allowed.

As part of the elaborate security drill, two commandos accompanied the players aboard the bus.

Some 3,000 policemen and elite force commandos would man the security under Senior Superintendent of Police Sohail Khan’s watchful eyes. Sohail is in-charge of security for the entire 40-day tour of India.

Once the team reached the hotel, its staff accorded it a warm welcome complete with garlands and ‘welcome drink’.

Security personnel had taken their positions in the hotel last night itself after an inspection carried out with the help of sniffer dogs.

The team has been put up at the fifth floor, reserved exclusively for the Indian cricketers. — PTI

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