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'Playing in India no problem'

KARACHI - Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt has no qualms about the national team playing its ICC World Cup 2011 semifinal against India in India.

"I don't see any problems for us and have also told the players to not worry about anything and just focus 100 per cent on cricket," Butt told reporters in Lahore. Butt will be in India to watch the World Cup matches and attend important meetings of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Mumbai.

He is also expected to have discussions with Indian board officials. Butt said he was happy to note that the players were eager to perform well in the semifinal even though they would play in India after a gap of nearly four years.

"That is a very positive and good sign for me because the players are eager to do well against India in the semifinal," he said. The PCB chief also made it clear that they had no concerns regarding the security and safety of the players in India.

"We have been given assurances of foolproof security for our players by our government and the Indian authorities, so we are not worried at all but we are also closely in touch with the authorities," he added. "We are confident that their will be no unpleasant incident during our team's stay in India," he said.

Butt said that right now the board's main concern was that the team should continue to perform positively like it has been doing throughout the World Cup. "Our main concern is that regardless of the venue, our players should remain focused on their game and continue to give their 100 per cent performance," he stated.

The PCB chief said that the members of the governing board that met on Thursday had appreciated the efforts of the players and management in reviving the image of Pakistan cricket with their performances and behaviour despite the many problems faced by the team in recent months.

"The performance of our players to reach the semi-finals is commendable given what they have been through in recent times. And I don't think the fact that they are playing against a strong team like India in the semifinal will affect their performances at all."