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Pakistan withdraws from next year’s blind Asia Cup in India

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Karachi :Pakistan today withdrew from the Asia Cup for blind cricketers to be held in India next year, claiming threats to the security of the players due to the protests faced by visiting PCB officials earlier this week.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council said that they would not be sending their team to India next year for the Asia Cup due to the current anti-Pakistan sentiments and environment in India.

Sultan Shah told reporters that the Pakistan Blind team was scheduled to participate in the Asia Cup from 17 to 24 January next year in Kochi.

“But after what has happened in India in the last few days the way the Pakistan Cricket Board delegation has been treated we have decided they are genuine threats to the security of our players and officials if the Asia Cup is held in India,” Shah told PTI.

He said the storming of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai by Shiv Sena activists to protest against PCB chief Shahryar Khan prompted the PBCC to take this decision.

“I have informed the Cricket Association for Blind in India about our decision,” he said.

Shah said the PBCC had started preparations for the Asia Cup and the team was also shortlisted but now the scenario has changed all of sudden in India.

He said that the ICC decision to call back Aleem Dar midway during the India-South Africa series had left the PBCC with no option but to decide that in present atmosphere, it would be “unfair to send the Pakistan team players and officials to India.”

The Pakistan Blind team has in the past travelled to India for major events.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Olympic Association has also said that it would take up the issue of security of Pakistan contingent in the South Asian Games which will be held in India also in January next year.

“If the Indian delegation assures satisfactory security arrangements for our contingent only then can we consider taking part in the SAF Games,” POA secretary Khalid Mahmood told reporters.

PTI