World T20: Pakistan decides not to play in Dharamsala

Islamabad: The Pakistan govenment on Wednesday decided not to play the World Twenty20 Super 10 Group Two match against India in Dharamsala.

The decision was taken after a detailed meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Wednesday.

A report on Geo News cited officials as saying that concerns over security have prompted the decision.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said that the match, scheduled to be played on March 19, could be shifted to Kolkata. According to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, the BCCI indicated that Mohali would not be the alternate venue since Pakistan were already playing two matches there.

The national men’s and women’s teams were due to depart for India on Tuesday evening. But their departure was postponed by the PCB awaiting confirmation for the match to be re-located.

Earlier, the PCB asked the International Cricket council (ICC) to move the Pakistan-India match out of Dharamsala after its delegation declared as insufficient the security arrangements for the mega cricket event.

According to our sources, the security team that visited the Indian state informed Nisar Ali Khan that security of the team is not assured at Dharamsala, the Geo News said.

Serving and retired personnel of the Indian Army and political leaders in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh have vehemently opposed holding the India-Pakistan match in Dharamsala.

The state ex-servicemen’s association has also threatened to hold demonstrations agaisnt welcoming the Pakistan team in Himachal Pradesh as Kangra district — where Dharamsala is located — is home to a large number of serving and retired soldiers and martyrs’ families.