Pakistan news March 3, 2016

PCB threatens pulling out of World T20


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From BCCI's side, it's on in Dharamsala -Thakur

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has threatened pulling out of the World Twenty20 if they did not get a clear message about the security situation from the Indian government. Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, called for India to publicly acknowledge Pakistan's participation in the tournament and to also promise full security to their cricket team.

The Pakistan government had initially granted the PCB permission to play in India, but the board has decided to put the visit on hold until they are guaranteed foolproof security. The PCB's move was prompted after the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had expressed his state government's difficulty in providing security for the India-Pakistan clash in Dharamsala, on March 19.

"We have concerns and the threats are Pakistan-specific. Even now, the Himachal Pradesh chief minister has also said that they will not guarantee the security," Shaharyar said during a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. "We have been informing the ICC on a daily basis about these threats which is not encouraging for us.

"Although our government has already given permission, these latest threats need to be taken seriously. Political parties like Shiv Sena [threatened us], now even the Congress has also said they will not let us play along with some other groups. Those are the ones creating agitation."

It has been reported that Virbhadra, who heads the Congress government in the northern state, wrote to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) saying that the match should not be played in Dharamsala. Virbhadra's concerns were regarding the prevailing local sentiment in Himachal over recent terrorist attacks in Pathankot, which lies close to the Pakistan border near the intersection of the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir.

"We have told the ICC that there is only one step that the Indian government needs to take and that is to issue a public statement that they are ready to welcome Pakistan and ensure full security for our team, which hasn't come as yet," Shaharyar said.

"We have already been given permission [to travel] and we want to come, but we need reassurance and they should give a statement that will create a sense of security among us. I spoke to the BCCI and they are giving us a private assurance, claiming that it's all about internal politics, nothing else, and that Pakistan should come.

"But a public statement is important and it should come, as there are threats and we can see them. We have written to the ICC that they should come forward and we've asked the Indian government to assure us and give a statement. If they won't give the statement, then I see it's very difficult to go to India. There is no deadline in making the decision but we will have to monitor till the end and can even pull out at the eleventh hour."

Pakistan are currently in Bangladesh, where they failed to qualify for the final of the ongoing Asia Cup. They are set to return to Lahore on March 5. Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan's interior minister, said that a report about the team's visit to India will be presented to the Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif after consulting with Shaharyar.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Akash Patel on March 8, 2016, 22:37 GMT

    Dont join them if you cant beat them.

  • Jayman on March 8, 2016, 12:36 GMT

    Each nation has to do what it deems right by it's own team.

  • Lokesh on March 8, 2016, 7:03 GMT

    Each one of us from either side is saying not to mix politics and sports and yet haven't we all taken the bait and ended ourselves exactly where our respective politicians wanted us to?

    Why don't we as cricket lovers put our feet down and demand from our respective authorities to allow the game instead of name calling each other. I for one would love to see this lad Amir seaming and swinging some toe crushers.

  • Jawwad on March 8, 2016, 4:22 GMT

    @Probhat- The cat is out of the bag? The formation of Big 3 was indeed the first step toward isolating Pakistan. But it won't change in Pak keep producing better talent.

  • Probhat Raha on March 8, 2016, 4:01 GMT

    World T20 will be a much more peaceful, and much less dangerous without Pakistan being a part of it. India has nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

  • ali on March 8, 2016, 3:31 GMT

    Hi guys.. My simple question is.. The worlds biggest democracy can't garantee security to 26 athletes for a world event. This is a country who claim a guest is God.. I'm not convinced..

  • Rama on March 8, 2016, 3:12 GMT

    Got to pull out if the Indian government can't guarantee security. And that is the blunt message from India. Its not about a game or a series or a tournament. This is about the political aspect of the India Pakistan relations that seeks Pakistan's isolation in the sport. They hold all the cards being the financial powerhouse of the sport and blatantly and openly coming out with the most undemocratic and draconian model known as the big three, they will follow this course (last one was not playing the agreed upon series in UAE, for security reason ironically).

  • Rohan on March 7, 2016, 12:54 GMT

    plz pull out, and give some deserving teams a chance, Ireland. Afghanistan, Zim, Bangladesh all deserves a place

  • Joh on March 6, 2016, 20:11 GMT

    Security from what..?

  • Muneeba Saleem on March 6, 2016, 19:50 GMT

    I read almost all the comments and came to a conclusion tht....yeah PCB should assure the security of their players and I think it's not funny to ask someone for security...Pak should play WCT20....and I hope tht Pakistan will have a great comeback in cricket....and beat its opponents in WCT20...seeing the performance of pak in Asia cup,2016....its quiet disappointing but they did well against Sri Lanka and hope they wil keep this form alive in the WC...hope all the best to Pak team and hope they can win the WCT20...and as it concerns about India....I think they shouldn't hold a tournament like this of course WCT20 is a big event..if they can't assure a team of its full be honest, a WC wouldn't be a WC without Pak-India match,

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