BCCI puts ball in Pak’s court, says India committed to provide security for World T20

New Delhi: A day after the venue for the upcoming World Twenty20 clash between India and Pakistan was shifted out from Dharamsala to Kolkata due to security concerns, Board of Control for Cricket in India honorary secretary Anurag Thakur on Thursday reiterated that New Delhi is fully committed to provide adequate security to all the visiting teams.

“I want to say this very clearly to Pakistan that teams from all across the world are coming to India and we have also shifted the match to Kolkata (on March 19). If Pakistan wants an excuse then that is a different thing. But India is fully committed to provide adequate security to all teams as it has done in the past and will continue to do so in the future,” Thakur told ANI.

Thakur, however, expressed his disappointment over Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s statement saying that it has damaged India’s reputation before the world.

Virbhadra had earlier expressed his aversion to the Indo-Pak match in his state after the ex-servicemen and families of slain army officials opposed to stage a match involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent Pathankot attacks.

“The comment made by the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has not only damaged the state’s reputation but that of the entire nation. It is because of this that a very big match, which was scheduled to be held in Dharamsala, has now been shifted to Kolkata. Moreover, he created a controversy which allowed Pakistan to raise a question mark whether India is a safe place or not,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan stated that his country’s government is yet to give its approval to its cricket team to travel to India as the Indian government has not yet given assurance on the security front.

In response to the PCB chief’s comments, Thakur maintained that the BCCI does not give green signal to each team separately and insisted that there were no security concerns from their end.

“We don’t give green signals to each and every nation individually. The green signal is given for the entire tournament and the green signal is there (for the World T20). Pakistan should make up their mind and visit India to play the tournament. It is for them to decide. There are no security concerns from our end,” he concluded.

On Wednesday, International Cricket Council chief executive, David Richardson, had emphasised that the safety and security of the global event was of paramount importance to them and that they had taken the decision to shift the match to Kolkata after seriously considering the views of both security advisors (BCCI and ICC) and of the concerns shared by the PCB. (ANI)