ICC World T20: Pakistan confirm participation in the tournament

Pakistan confirm participation after West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee gives written assurance on security.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal , Shamik Chakrabarty | Islamabad | Updated: March 12, 2016 12:07 pm
ICC World T20, ICC World T20 updates, World T20, World T20 2016, India vs Pakistan, Pakistan vs India, Pak vs Ind, Ind vs Pak, Pakistan, Pakistan cricket team, pakistan cricket, cricket pakistan, pakistan cricket, icc world t20, icc world t20 2016, t20 cricket world cup, t20 world cup, cricket news, cricket Shahid Afridi’s team will fly to Kolkata via Dubai for the World T20. (Source: AP)

Decks have been cleared for the Pakistan cricket team’s visit to India for the ongoing World T20. A letter from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, assuring “absolute security” for the Pakistan side during their stay in Kolkata, did the trick with the Pakistan government eventually approving their team’s participation in the ICC event. Banerjee wrote the letter on Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly’s request. “I personally requested her (for a formal assurance),” Ganguly told The Indian Express. The Pakistan team led by Shahid Afridi is expected to land in Kolkata at 7.40pm on Saturday.

The Pakistan government had asked for a “public guarantee” of security from its Indian counterpart before approving the men and women teams’ participation in the World T20. After Ganguly had forwarded Banerjee’s letter – Kolkata’s police commissioner Rajeev Kumar also wrote a separate letter, guaranteeing security – to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB); Najam Sethi, chairman of the PCB’s executive committee, called on Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

“Good news. Bengal CM and Union Home Minister and ICC and BCCI have all given public assurances of security to Pak team,” Sethi tweeted. “Subsequently, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has also approved Pakistan’s participation in the T20 World Cup. The team is completely ready and hopefully they will fly to Dubai tonight and then from there will leave straight for India,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Following a meeting at the North Block, New Delhi, with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Friday afternoon, High Commissioner of Pakistan Abdul Basit said Mehrishi had assured security for the Pakistan cricket team.

PCB chief Shaharyar Khan told reporters in Lahore that the players had been given the “pullout option” but all 15 members of the squad wanted to play the World T20. He hoped that the cricketing ties between India and Pakistan would remain active.

The arch-rivals would lock horns at Eden Gardens on March 19. The ICC had shifted the most high-profile fixture of the World T20 from Dharamsala to Kolkata after the Himachal Pradesh government reportedly failed to ensure foolproof security for the game. PCB’s security expert Mohammad Azam Khan informed that a three-member Pakistan security team had dropped in at Kolkata after visiting Dharamsala.

“Kolkata was adjudged the most secure venue. I visited Dharamsala and found that the entry and exit passages for VIP movements were very narrow and insecure. Moreover, Himachal Pradesh chief minister (Virbhadra Singh) had told our team that the state government wouldn’t be able to ensure security. Twice he told us that the match couldn’t be held there,” Khan told this paper.

While relocating the India versus Pakistan match from Dharamsala to Kolkata, ICC chief executive David Richardson had said: “Our concerns relate both to uncertainty as to the level of those threats as well as the level of commitment to implement any security plan developed to mitigate such threats. “The decision was not taken lightly. The ICC and the BCCI understand the disappointment that is likely to be felt by many over the decision to move the match. But the safety and security of the event is of paramount importance to the ICC and we have taken into consideration the concerns shared with us by our security advisors as well as the Pakistan Cricket Board.”

But the Pakistan government still demanded a “public guarantee” of security for the players. The Pakistan’s interior minister had reiterated his government’s stand during a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday.

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First Published on: March 11, 2016 5:17 pm
  1. A
    Arvind
    Mar 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm
    stan Govt has become a laughing stock not only in world Cricket but also in its own country when its own PCB was very eager to play in India.Poor stan Civil Govt has to take permission from its Army/ISI. It must know that India is the most safe country in world to play Cricket unlike stan.No doubt the people of stan are always generous in Hospitality as seen while our Cricket Team toured stan.After all stani and Indians are brothers but it is unfortunate there is no proper response from stan Govt so far as arresting terrorist activities are concerned. For time being let us forget it and enjoy T-20 world Cup.
    Reply
    1. D
      Devendra Kumar
      Mar 12, 2016 at 9:48 am
      stan is Hero here because of sham full dirty Indian politics game
      Reply
      1. D
        din
        Mar 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm
        Great for our ability to faciliate it and great we can TRY to spoil Congressi's sabotage plans and thrit of violance and terrorisum
        Reply
        1. D
          din
          Mar 11, 2016 at 7:40 pm
          OH Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees PLEASE DO COME WE ARE NOT WEAK AND NOT AFRAID OF CONGRESS TUGS
          Reply
          1. F
            Franky
            Mar 11, 2016 at 5:34 pm
            Pak making drama as they even if they dont no one is least interested as anyway they play badly
            Reply
            1. A
              Aurangzeb
              Mar 11, 2016 at 1:28 pm
              That's amazing, Indian Army will be paid to guard stanis.
              Reply
              1. K
                kulaputra kulaputra
                Mar 12, 2016 at 12:59 am
                8 countries don't make a world
                Reply
                1. M
                  Madhu
                  Mar 12, 2016 at 9:39 am
                  While we protect them using our security guards, they are busy sending terrorist to kill indians. stan does not have any self respect and they don't deserve anything good from this world. They are the epicenter of terrorism and the w world is concerned on this.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Mahen
                    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:45 am
                    ALSO.... PAK SHOULD GIVE URANCE THAT THEY WILL NOT BE SENDING IN TERRORISTS AND THAT ALL S WILL GO BACK. NO ONE SHOULD STAY BACK.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      Prof.P.L.Bakhshi
                      Mar 11, 2016 at 9:49 pm
                      Indian security has to be extra vigilant , moe so at borders, so that rabid terrorist camps in stan donotpush in their fidayeen or sneak them as visitors /fans to create mischief or even harm their own players for obvious reasons. Anything is possible trim this country run by MMM( Mullahs, Militants and Military )
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Sarfaraz Abbasi
                        Mar 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm
                        Don't call them stan just call them Punjabi Cricket Team. All these players in the team are Punjabi speaking players. No Sindhi speaking, or Baloch speaking players are entertained.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          sbatra
                          Mar 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm
                          OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PLEASE DONT COME YOU ARE NOT WELCOME
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            sdas
                            Mar 12, 2016 at 12:16 am
                            stani politicians probably request their army / isi for permission even to go the bathroom !
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              Damodar Vallabh
                              Mar 12, 2016 at 5:53 am
                              Ishrat Jahan was killed in a fake encounter by Gujarat Police. After the killing, they planted a fake story in a stan Newspaper by paying a stani journalist to publish that Ishrat was an LET agent. Then Headley and others read that stani news article and believed that Ishrat was indeed a LET agent, and others in LET stan also started believing that Ishrat was an LET agent. Meanwhile, the criminals in Gujarat Police were happily laughing at the way the things turned out. Why is Amit Shah and Narendra Modi protecting these criminal police? Modi should backstab these criminal police in Gujarat who killed Ishrat in cold blood due to Maya-Kodnani-like mentality, and Modi should expose these criminal cops and lynch and hang them.
                              Reply
                              1. I
                                Indian
                                Mar 12, 2016 at 11:40 am
                                There was NEWS that 10 JI-HADIS had entered India during Shivaratri time. ............ Probably there target is not Shivaratri but one of the T20 matches to project INDIA also an UNSAFE place for International Cricket similar to Pak-istan.
                                Reply
                                1. I
                                  Indian
                                  Mar 12, 2016 at 11:34 am
                                  When PAK does not believe India on 26/11, Samjutha Express attack, Pathankot attack, JI-HADI support to JandK killings etc why should Pak BELIEVE India on T20 Cricket?????? PAK should not believe the INDIAN GOVT on T20 too and should NOT ALLOW Pak Cricket Team to play in India.
                                  Reply
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