PCB welcomes ICC’s decision to shift India-Pak match venue

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday welcomed the International Cricket Council’s decision to shift the much-anticipated match against fierce rivals India from Dharamsala to Kolkata on March 19 but said that the national side’s departure will be kept on hold until the Indian government gives an assurance of complete security to its players.

“The PCB had earlier conveyed to the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India of its constraints to play in Dharamsala as was also a recommendation by the Security delegation of Pakistan that visited India recently,” PCB said in a media release.

“Our government is expecting an assurance to Pakistan against specific threats to the Pakistan team from various political parties and groups during the tour.

Pending this assurance and in accordance with the recommendation by the Security delegation, the PCB has decided to defer the departure of Pakistan men and women teams to India,” the PCB added.

Ending weeks of uncertainty over the fate of the match, ICC chief executive David Richardson said that venue has been moved to Kolkata’s Eden Garden due to security concerns.

Earlier, the cloud over Pakistan’s participation in the World T20 turned murkier after Islamabad asserted that no security has been assured by India, adding that they would participate in the series only after a ‘public assurance’ of absolute safety by New Delhi.

The development comes after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh 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.

Pakistan will begin their World T20 campaign when they will play their opening group match in Kolkata on March 16. (ANI)