Pak­istan teams await­ing se­cu­rity clear­ance: Sha­har­yar

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

The Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) de­cided to de­lay giv­ing go ahead to na­tional men and women teams to travel to In­dia for the ICC World T20 till the time the In­dian cricket board (BCCI), their govern­ment and the ICC not fully ad­dressed the reser­va­tions of the PCB over spe­cific se­cu­rity threats to Pak­istan teams in In­dia.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence just half an hour af­ter ICC chief ex­ec­u­tive David Richard­son an­nounced in Delhi that the sched­uled World T20 match in Dharamshala be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia on March 19 has been shifted to Kolkata, PCB chair­man Sha­har­yar Khan read out a writ­ten state­ment which said: "The PCB wel­comes ICC's de­ci­sion of shift­ing the World T20 Pak­istan-In­dia game sched­uled in Dharamshala on March 19 to Kolkata.

"The PCB had ear­lier con­veyed to both the ICC and the BCCI of its const­wraints to play in Dharamshala based on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the se­cu­rity del­e­ga­tion of Pak­istan that vis­ited In­dia re­cently.

"The PCB has also to­day con­veyed to the ICC and the BCCI that our govern­ment is ex­pect­ing an as­sur­ance to Pak­istan against spe­cific threats to the Pak­istan cricket team from var­i­ous political par­ties and groups dur­ing the tour. "Pend­ing this as­sur­ance and in ac­cor­dance with the rec­om­men­da­tion by the se­cu­rity dele- gation, the PCB has de­cided to de­fer the de­par­ture of Pak­istan men and women teams to In­dia," said Sha­har­yar.

He fur­ther said that BCCI pres­i­dent Shashank Manohar had also con­tacted him in the morn­ing on Wed­nes­day to con­firm that in a de­ci­sion jointly taken by the BCCI and the ICC, they had de­cided to shift the match from Dharamshala to ei­ther Kolkata or Mo­hali.

Man­ho­har agreed that it did not look ap­pro­pri­ate to host the match in Dharamshala af­ter their chief min­is­ter had said he could not take the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the se­cu­rity of the Pak­istan team there.

How­ever, Sha­har­yar said he re­minded Manohar and the ICC that as threats were Pak­istan spe­cific and came from In­dia's main political par­ties like Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Aam Admi Party and now a group of re­tired ser­vice­men, there­fore the PCB could not send the cricket teams there un­til the time that com­plete and fool­proof se­cu­rity for them was guar­an­teed.

He said it was the PCB which de­manded the as­sur­ance from the BCCI, ICC and the In­dian govern­ment and not the govern­ment of Pak­istan. "The threats are Pak­istan-spe­cific and not against New Zealand, Aus­tralia or other teams. So we are de­lay­ing the de­par­ture [of teams] un­til an as­sur­ance from the In­dian side is re­ceived which I ex­pect to get soon," Sha­har­yar said.

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