World T20 2016 March 9, 2016

India-Pakistan game moved to Kolkata

ESPNcricinfo staff

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The Ind-Pak decision wasn't taken lightly - David Richardson

The India-Pakistan World T20 match on March 19 has been moved to Eden Gardens in Kolkata, because of security concerns over the original venue Dharamsala. The ICC chief executive David Richardson made the announcement in Delhi on Wednesday, ending weeks of uncertainty over the fixture, which began with the Himachal Pradesh chief minister saying his government would not be able to provide adequate security for the match.

The PCB, however, has continued to delay the departure of the Pakistan men's and women's teams to India pending assurance from the BCCI or the Indian government. "The PCB has also today conveyed to ICC and BCCI that our government is expecting an assurance to Pakistan against specific threats to the Pakistan team from various political parties and groups during the tour," the board said in a release. "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 decision to relocate the match has been made for security reasons," Richardson said in Delhi. "The concerns initially arose following alleged public comments recently reported by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, warning of demonstration and attempts to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the match. Our concerns relate both to uncertainty as to the level of those threats as well as the level of commitment to implement any security plan developed to mitigate such treats.

"The decision was not taken lightly. The ICC and the BCCI understand the disappointment that is likely to be felt by many over the decision to move the match. But the safety and security of the event is of paramount importance to the ICC and we have taken into consideration the concerns shared with us by our security advisors as well as Pakistan Cricket Board.

"As far as those who have purchased tickets online for the match, they will be offered the choice of a full refund or the opportunity to exchange their tickets for ones for the Kolkata match.

"Finally, I would like to confirm that the ICC has been assured by all relevant state authorities that all adequate security measure are in place and will be implemented to ensure that the event is staged in a safe and secure environment for all stakeholders."

Though the PCB had always expressed reservations about playing in Dharamsala once the issue began, the BCCI and the ICC remained confident the game would go ahead as planned. However, the problems came to a head this week after a three-man security delegation from Pakistan inspected the venue and was unhappy with the preparations. Their report to the PCB on Tuesday recommended that Pakistan not play at the venue, and the ICC announced the change in venue the next day.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khaja on March 14, 2016, 11:57 GMT

    Good. Security and Stadium Capacity might be reasons to shift the match location...

  • Tolaha on March 12, 2016, 1:37 GMT

    Now that Pakistan Cricket board has clearly expressed their inability to visit India unless they receive explicit assurance on security, it would be hypocritical of them to send their players to IPL as they wouldn't receive any such in non-ICC events. PCB has just ensured that their players will not be able to play in IPL anytime soon. Hopefully the Pakistani commentators on this website too understand this and stop making it an issue!

  •   Fahim Kamal on March 11, 2016, 17:37 GMT

    first I thanks to India government and cricket board. For moving the match to kolkotta. For the scake of Indian Muslim people. Thanks

  • Dinesh Kalyanasundaram on March 11, 2016, 16:38 GMT

    All this Cricket Banter aside, Kudos to the Pakistan Board for taking a strong stance on this matter. If there are concerns, they should say no - but in the past their decision making was based on other un-necessary factors. Now, I feel like, their stance on this is the correct one.

  • Bingo on March 11, 2016, 10:09 GMT

    If the Pakistani team does not come or play they will have escaped defeat at the hands of a rampant Indian team. So I guess their team must be very relieved that their tour might be cancelled. As far as India's image is concerned look no further than the IPL which is THE premier 20/20 tournament in the world which is frequented by Pakistani legends as commentators. I am sure the PCB knows very well that India can and will make sure that the Pakistani players will be safe and comfortable otherwise the much more picky Australian and European teams would not think of travelling there (Australia did not send its under 19 team to Bangladesh under some rather thin security pretext) . So those who have begun India bashing concentrate on the game and the chances of each team in the possible match which I predict will be a walk in the park for the Indians.

  • FawadAlam4Lyfe on March 11, 2016, 8:12 GMT

    @COOLDXVE, when pak played india in WC2015, satish made a cartoon of misbah and dhoni both asking to opentheir accounts. Dhoni becuase india had not won a single match in australia in months, and misbah for obvious reasons. India won. I believe this record trumps and will trump any other record that contradicts it in anyway.

  •   Adnan Yaqoob on March 11, 2016, 7:16 GMT

    There is no fault of nation only politics on this issues to get publicity thats it bad politicians those who never want peace

  • zahoor on March 11, 2016, 5:38 GMT

    pak won't travel to india i think hopes are fading away..........

  • John on March 11, 2016, 5:23 GMT

    It's sad that neither our Govt nor the BCCI has come out with any assurance, what are they thinking ? Hope something good come out soon.

  • Muhammad Akbar on March 11, 2016, 2:53 GMT

    Still no adequate security commitment from Indian government. India is loosing its credibility to host international matches.