Kolkata to host India-Pak World T20 match: ICC chief

New Delhi, Mar 09 (ANI): Ending weeks of uncertainty over the fate of the India-Pakistan clash in the World Twenty20, the International Cricket Council chief executive, David Richardson, on Wednesday confirmed that the venue of the much-anticipated match on March 19 has been moved from Dharamsala to Kolkata due to security concerns.

“The match will take place in Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on the same date and time as the originally announced match i.e. 19th of March at 7.30pm,” said Richardson told reporters at a press conference.

Earlier, the cloud over Pakistan’s participation in the World T20 turned murkier after Islamabad asserted that no security has been assured by India, adding that they would participate in the series only after a ‘public assurance’ of absolute safety by New Delhi.

“The decision has been taken for security reasons. It has been taken following a consultation with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the relevant state associations, the ICC and BCCI security consultants,” the ICC chief added.

Richardson insisted that the safety and security of the global event was of paramount importance to the ICC and that they have taken the decision after seriously considering the views of both security advisors (BCCI and ICC) and of the concerns shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had earlier expressed his aversion to the Indo-Pak match in his state after the ex-servicemen and families of slain army officials opposed to stage a match involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent Pathankot attacks.

“Security concerns arose following public comments reported in media allegedly made by HP CM warning of potential demonstrations and disruptions to the peaceful conduct of the match,” Richardson said.

“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,” he added. (ANI)

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