World T20 2016 March 8, 2016

Pakistan wants India match shifted out of Dharamsala


Members of a Pakistan security delegation inspected the preparations in Dharamsala on Monday © AFP

Pakistan have asked the ICC for a change of location for their World T20 match against India, scheduled to be held in Dharamsala on March 19, after receiving a report from its three-man delegation that 'security is not assured' at the venue. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the report was handed over to the board and Pakistan's federal interior minister, Chaudary Nisar, after which it was decided that the Pakistan team would not travel to India on Wednesday as scheduled.

The PCB had, earlier on Tuesday, written to the ICC chief executive David Richardson asking to consider an alternative venue for the marquee match on March 19. It is understood to have proposed Kolkata or Mohali as a replacement for Dharamsala.

A senior BCCI official said the Indian board was made aware of the fact that the PCB had informed the ICC about not being "keen on playing" in Dharamsala but appeared confident the match could still be moved to an alternate venue.

"They have not conveyed it (not playing in Dharamsala) to ICC as a decision, but as a suggestion," the official told ESPNcricnfo. According to him the two back-up venues could be Bangalore and Kolkata. "Mohali is already hosting two (Pakistan) matches. Kolkata already has one match. Delhi, we all know the issues there (the Delhi & District Cricket Association struggling to get various clearances to host matches)."

The official reckoned the ICC and BCCI would have to take a "final" call by Wednesday keeping in mind the Pakistan men's team is scheduled to land in India for the tournament that day.

The Pakistani delegation, headed by FIA director Usman Anwar, PCB security and anti-corruption head Azam Khan, and Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner in India, are believed to have remained unconvinced by the arrangements and with the security protocols. It is believed that most of the Indian officials they were coordinating with were relatively junior in rank.

The Pakistan government had initially granted the PCB permission for its team to play in India, but the board decided to put the visit on hold until they were guaranteed foolproof security. The PCB's move was prompted after the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had expressed concerns over security for the India-Pakistan match in Dharamsala.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Mg Gm on March 10, 2016, 2:34 GMT

    No doubt, it is good for the people in Dharmasala. People and country first. These 2020 games playing everyday and everywhere. No need to give importance to it.

  • Abakash on March 9, 2016, 11:58 GMT

    The score line of India against Pakistan is 8 out of 8 in all concluded ICC events.It could be 9 out of 9 on 19/3/2016.We just cant afford a miss against pakistan !!!!!!

  • John on March 9, 2016, 11:53 GMT

    BREAKING NEWS.... India Vs Pakistan in Calcutta. Just confirmed.

  • John on March 9, 2016, 11:50 GMT

    Breaking news. Calcutta/Kolkutta it is. Yeah Pakistan will move their match there.

  • Wahab on March 9, 2016, 11:43 GMT

    Eden gardens. We love that venue .. biggest and best with decent crowd .. plz publish

  • Saq on March 9, 2016, 11:43 GMT

    @TryTrial: Coming across your comms across mutiple articles in the past, I find myself always agreeing with you. Pity other posters can't have the same sense you do, brother. Long live common sense. Excellent post by madeleincardus, too.

  • Gnaneshwar Raju on March 9, 2016, 11:41 GMT

    Pls oblige to PAK request and shift to either Mohali or Kolkata. or even consider other venues such as Vizag or Hyderabad. India Cooler

  • Richard on March 9, 2016, 11:36 GMT

    How can a country that cannot provide a fair environment to all teams partaking be allowed to host an ICC championship? If India wants to prevent players from Pakistan competing in the IPL that's up to them, but they have no right to disadvantage a team in an international tournament. What has happened to the idea of fair play? We outsiders are well aware of the tension between India and Pakistan, but this is just wrong. If cricket is to be a plaything of politicians then it has lost it's soul and is best left to die an unlamented death, poisoned and corrupted by hatred.

  • ganeshblr on March 9, 2016, 11:19 GMT

    Chennai should get the chance to host the game, especially considering that Chennai is not a participant in this T20 world cup, which by the way is a shame.

  • Cricinfouser on March 9, 2016, 11:05 GMT

    I'd suggest moving the match to South India. It's more peaceful and further away from the political tensions.

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