Hopeful of Indo-Pak WT20 clash in Dharamsala: Sridhar

ICC World Twenty20 Tournament Director M V Sridhar is “more than hopeful” of the event’s marquee India-Pakistan clash going ahead as scheduled here on March 19 after the two-member delegation from across the border took stock of the security preparations in the city.

“I am more than hopeful on behalf of the BCCI and on the behalf of the tournament. Whatever the actual status on the ground has been communicated to the Pakistan team. And now the decision is with them. Obviously, they will also consult their own government, High Commission, based on that they will come back to us,” he told reporters here.

The Pakistani team, headed by Director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Usman Anwar and comprising Pakistan Cricket Board official Ajam Khan, crossed over to India via the land transit route of Attari-Wagah border of Punjab yesterday.

Pakistan are scheduled to start their WT20 campaign on March 16 against a qualifier before clashing with India on March 19.

However, the much-anticipated match has been thrown into jeopardy after HP Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the game should be shifted out to respect popular sentiments after the Pathankot terror attacks.

Sridhar said the ICC is firm on holding the match in Dharamsala.

“The district administration has very clearly stated that they are committed to giving complete security, not only for the India versus Pakistan match, but for all the matches which are going to be held in Dharamsala.

“That’s the commitment given by both sides — the administration and the police. So, that has been clearly communicated to the Pakistani delegation,” Sridhar said.

The Pakistan security team will submit its report to the PCB and the Pakistani government before a final decision is announced.