Kolkata will host Indo-Pak World T20 match: ICC

International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to move the World T20 Pakistan-India match from Dharamsala to Kolkata. The Group 2 match of the Super will be played in Eden Gardens on March 19.

While talking to the media ICC chief executive David Richardson said the venue has been changed after mutual consent of India and Pakistan. “We have changed the venue due to the security concerns of Pakistan,” he said.

While answering a question the ICC chief executive has said that it is not the first time that the venue has been changed due to security concerns. “It has been done in past. We are also analyzing the security arrangements for Pakistani cricket team.”

Richardson said that the ticket money will be returned to the fans who had purchased tickets.

“While keeping the security concerns, it was the best decisions we could have taken,” he told the media. “Giving security is not ICC’s responsibility. Indian government must give complete security to Pakistani team”.

While answering questions Richardson said that ICC would keep a close eye on all kinds of fixing. “We would make sure we curb any attempts to fix matches, and will keep an eye on all participating teams.”

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan appreciated the ICC’s decision. He said that due to security concerns in Dharamshala, the BCCI and ICC had decided to change the venue to Kolkata, which PCB has accepted.  “Shashank Manohar called me around 8 in the morning today and we decided that we cannot play in Dharamsala,” the PCB chairman said, adding that both Kolkata and Mohali were mulled as potential venues.

While addressing a press conference in Lahore the PCB chairman said that there were different groups against Pakistani team visiting India. “Some were against playing the match in Dharmashala, while some are against Pakistan playing anywhere in India,” he added. “I have told our government that we are fine with Kolkata as our playing venue.”

The Pakistan and India match was shrouded in doubt after protests from right wing Hindu organizations and political parties of India. These elements were against the Pakistani team playing against India.

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pardesh refused to give assurance regarding the security to Pakistani team.

The security team sent by Pakistani government said yesterday that security arrangements are not satisfactory for the Pakistani cricket team.

The World T20 is currently underway in India, with Pakistan in the same Super 10 group as India, Australia and New Zealand. Pakistan are scheduled to play their first match on March 16 against the Group A qualifier.

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