Pak Refuse to Let Team Depart for WT20, Demand Security Assurances
Pakistan are slated to play their first warm-up game on Saturday in Kolkata.
The World T20 kicks-off on the 15th or March and Pakistan are slated to play the first of their two warm-up matches on the 12, against Bengal in Kolkata.
Only, just two days before the start of their campaign, Pakistan’s men’s cricket team isn’t being allowed to depart from their training base in Lahore.
On Thursday, the Pakistani government issued a diktat stopping the men’s and the women’s teams from leaving for India until the host nation’s government publicly guarantees “foolproof security” for the players and the fans.
The ICC and the BCCI have been very accommodating, but it is the Indian government’s security assurance that matters the most. Thus far, there has been no such indication from them. Pakistan will not go to India until foolproof security assurance from India (is provided). There are threats to the Pakistan team in India ... (with) groups threatening to disrupt Pakistan’s match. How can we play in such situation.Chaudhry Nisar, Pakistan Interior Minister
Pakistan’s primary concerns over the security for their fixture in Dharamsala for a match against India have already been addressed. The ICC on Wednesday officially moved the venue to Kolkata after the PCB, based on the findings of their 2-member security committee, refused to play in the Himachal city.
However, now with the country asking for complete security assurances, the Indian government has once again reasserted that all necessary arrangements re always made for major sporting events in India, even citing the recent South Asian Games which were held without a hitch in Assam last month. Pakistan had sent a full strength contingent for the tournament.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that all necessary arrangements, including those for security have been made in the past for all international sporting events organised in India. Recently as you are aware, the South Asian Federation Games saw good and enthusiastic participation of all contingents from all SAF countries, including Pakistan. We are confident that the ICC World T20 will also be a resounding success in all aspects.Vikas Swarup, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson
The International Cricket Council has now left the ball in Pakistan’s court, stating that the onus is on Pakistan to send the team since their apprehensions have been addressed.
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