BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has no plans to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the World T20 match between India and Pakistan.
“Prime Minister has a busy schedule and this particular match, slated for March 19, being just a part of the World T20, has no special relevance for seeking presence of such a high dignitary. Prime Minister has so many important engagements during the month, besides the upcoming Parliament session,” he told the Indian Express.
Thakur, however, has reacted sharply to local protests, now also joined by the kin of two Pathankot airbase attack martyrs, over the hosting of India-Pakistan match on March 19.
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“It’s completely a Congress engineered political drama to dent Himachal Pradesh image. A handful of people toeing the Congress ideology, have started it. Those being motivated to hold protests don’t know what kind of damage they are causing to Kangra district—where stadium is located “ he said.
BCCI secretary ,who is also third-time BJP MP , said he himself belongs to soldier’s family and had led Rashtriya Ekta Yatra to Kashmir at time when no one was ready to speak against Pakistan in the government. He says no one should doubt that he is insensitive to the martyrdom of Himachal Jawans, whether it’s Pathankot, Kashmir, Assam or Kargil .
Thakur says there are only five states which have been allotted T-20 world cup matches in the country. Of this, Himachal Pradesh has got eight matches – which is a big achievement. “Imagine what kind of advantage state’s tourism and economy will get once matches begins at Dharamshala. It will have a global impact. Dharamshala will be at top of the world. Did anyone ever thought of it before,” asked Thakur.
Thakur ruled out the possibility of not hosting the match at the scenic venue. Even Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, few days back, had asked the BCCI to drop the much-awaited fixture.
“I just want to ask Chief Minister one question, is Congress not ruling Assam? Whose government is there after all. This is relevant because Pakistan teams are currently playing South Asian Games 2016. I had got eight cricket matches allotted to Dharamshala and Pakistan India match is just one of these,” said Thakur.
He said when Congress was in power, then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was soft against Pakistan but now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got Pakistan exposed to the world. Thakur feels there is lot of pressures building against Pakistan.
Why should BCCI call off the match? asked the Indian cricket board’s secretary.
“Do the people criticising the match want to put India on defensive? Congress should stop playing politics and let Himachal Pradesh raise the bar and host T20 matches to position Dharamshala on world map,” said Thakur.