ICC World Twenty20: India-Pakistan match moved out of Dharamsala, to be played in Kolkata

first_imgAfter Pakistan refused to play their World Twenty20 matchagainst India in Dharamsala on March 19, the International CricketCouncil announced Kolkata as the venue for the high-profilegame in a press conference today.The evening match will take place as scheduled on Saturday 19 March and will start at 7.30 PM IST. A three-member securityteam from Pakistan had visited Dharamsala on Monday. Reports said theywere not happy with security arrangements at the venue. The team feltthat if the protesters were allowed to oppose the match, security wouldbe compromised. Besides, they had also raised concerns for the Pakistani fans and media contingent. (Also read: World T20 – Confusion over Pakistan’s departure for India) Consequently, the Pakistan Cricket Board wanted to play the match against India either in Kolkata or Mohali.Announcing the decision, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The decision has been taken following consultation with the BCCI, the relevant state associations, the ICC and BCCI security consultant and other relevant authorities.”The decision to relocate the match has been made for security reasons. The concerns initially arose following alleged public comments recently reported by the Chief Minister of Hamachal 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.advertisementBut Richardson said the ICC had taken steps to ensure that fans did not have to suffer from the last-minute switch. “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.”Tournament director MV Sridhar said “there was a serious level of disappointment” among fans in Dharamsala now that the marquee clash has been moved to th Eden Gardens.last_img