Giving rest to all speculations and uncertainty over the hosting of the India-Pakistan ICC World Twenty20 match at Dharamshala on March 19, the ICC on today shifted the venue to Kolkata on security grounds.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that the Indo-Pak match has been relocated to Kolkata. However, day-night match will take place as scheduled on Saturday 19 March.
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 Himachal Pradesh, warning of demonstrations and attempts to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the match, he further added.
Richardson said the ICC 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 threats.
The ICC, though, offered the choice of a full refund or the opportunity to exchange tickets for the Kolkata match.
Earlier, ex-servicemen had protested against the Indo-Pak twenty20 match, and the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister had expressed reluctance to take action against protesting ex-servicemen during the Indo-Pak twenty20 match. The family of the Pathankot martyr was also protesting against the match. The state congress leaders, veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar had also voiced their concern over hosting a match at the Dharamshala and termed it as a dishonoring martyrs.