ICC World T20: Pakistan keeps everyone guessing, sticks to ‘written assurance’ stand

Pakistan Interior Minister insisted that the team’s departure will not be cleared till Indian government provides a written assurance.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2016 11:33 am
icc world t20, icc world t20 2016, t20 cricket world cup, icc t20 world cup, pakistan, pakistan news, pakistan cricket team, pakistan cricket, india vs pakistan, ind vs pak, cricket news, cricket Pakistan recently played in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. (Source: AP)

SHAHID AFRIDI & Co’s participation in the World T20 continues to remain in limbo with the Pakistan government still playing hardball with regards to permitting their cricket team to cross the border.

On Thursday, Pakistan Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, insisted that the team’s departure will not be cleared till the Indian government provides a written assurance regarding safety. This comes a day after the high-profile clash between the two neighbours was shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata, citing security concerns. It is learnt that a senior Indian minister, while assuring that the Pakistanis would be secure dismissed the possibility of providing any assurance in writing.

While talking about the threats as being ‘Pakistan specific’, Khan also claimed that the Pakistan team couldn’t risk playing in front of a lakh of people among other concerns.

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“The threats are Pakistan specific. It is our responsibility that our players do not face any kind of pressure when they play…Unless we get written assurance from the (Indian) government, we will not allow our team to travel to India,” Khan said during a press conference in Islamabad. “How can cricket be played amid threats? Eden Gardens has a capacity of one lakh, what if stone comes from any side. We are just demanding an even playing field,” he added.
BCCI secretary and Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) chief Anurag Thakur put a different spin on the issue while sticking to his guns about India prepared to provide ‘adequate security’ to all teams, including Pakistan.

“If Pakistan wants an excuse that’s a different thing. But India is fully committed to provide adequate security to all teams. The decision lies with Pakistan now. India will provide adequate security to all teams,” he told ANI in response to the latest spanner thrown into the works by the Pakistan government.

That the BCCI would be a tad miffed with the continued resistance from across the border would be understandable,  considering they agreed to shift the match out of Dharamsala as per Pakistan’s demand. Mohali and Kolkata had been the options suggested by Pakistan while the BCCI had seemed keen on taking the match to Bangalore before giving it to Eden Gardens.

Citing a precedent

And Vikas Swaroop, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, cited the example of the SAFF Games that were held last month to emphasize on India’s ability to organize a world event without any security hitch.

“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,” he said.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahrayar Khan kept the door open for his team to participate in the event, even if it meant arriving in India on the eve of their opening match. “We want to go, we want to play. Whenever the permissions come through, we’ll go, even if it is on the eve of the match,” he said.

Based on the original schedule of the tournament, the Pakistan team should already have been here and preparing to play the first of two warm-ups against Bengal at Kolkata in preparation for the main event. They play their opening match in the league stages against a qualifier on March 16 at the same venue.

But unfortunately for Afridi & Co, while the rest of the cricket world warms up for the big event with a series of practice matches, they sit twiddling their thumbs, waiting on their government for a green signal to at least leave for India.

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  1. A
    aj
    Mar 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm
    Hindustan murdabad. Parion india again and again. Muslim from india.
    Reply
    1. A
      aj
      Mar 10, 2016 at 11:55 pm
      India is a disgrace and not safe.. .it is full of gang rapes daily. No country should go to india for cricket. Full of rapes , killing. Prosutes and beef worshipers.
      Reply
      1. A
        aj
        Mar 11, 2016 at 12:09 am
        India not safe for cricket. Narendra modi the butcher of gujarat wants to kill stani players. All nations must boycott india. It if full of blood thirsty devils like modi.
        Reply
        1. D
          din
          Mar 11, 2016 at 9:02 am
          BCCI congress member and congress party will do every thing to breach security arrangement and they have already begun to move their terrorist wing STAN be cautious You can trust Modi for your security but do Not trust Sonia-Rahul lot they will use your team as tool to kill peace talk 100% and will HARM
          Reply
          1. W
            Wake Up!
            Mar 11, 2016 at 7:52 am
            This is Ture stan matches become "High Profile" Win or Loose, So if stan will not come to Play ? then World Cup T20 2016 will be same like "Dal with out Tadka"
            Reply
            1. Z
              Zain Ali
              Mar 11, 2016 at 2:10 am
              Well. stan never demanded for written proof but because there were lot of voices raised against stan by Indian politicians. And stan is totally right about their demand
              Reply
              1. S
                Sumeet
                Mar 11, 2016 at 5:55 am
                Haha.. this is hilarious. The country which couldn't host a single cricket match since last 10 years, and couldn't keep their own citizens safe demanding security from a country which successfully and securely hosts numerous sporting events throughout the calendar year which includes players from all around the world. But who cares, if they don't come, India wont care. It would be their loss. Anyways, such loss must have become a habit for those losers.
                Reply
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