The Pakistan team had expressed security concerns for its T20 match against India that was scheduled to take place at Dharamsala on the 19th of March. The Himachal Pradesh chief minister had also gone on record to state that the authorities in Dharamsala will not be able to provide sufficient security to the Pakistani team.
One of the main reasons for the CM’s comments was due to the fact that there has been a number of infiltrations and terrorists attacks during the last couple of months in the northern region of India which has resulted in the death of a number of Indian soldiers as they thwarted the terrorists who were suspected of coming in from Pakistan. In a show of respect and defiance the Himachal Pradesh chief minister wasn’t very comfortable of using those same security forces to provide security to the Pakistani team.
While the BCCI tried to sort out these issues and assure the ICC and Pakistani delegation of security, the PCB has not been very convinced and was on the verge of threatening to pull out of the T20 World Cup. The issue appears to have been finally settled as the BCCI has confirmed that the 19th March match will not take place in Dharmsala but instead be shifted to the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
In a statement, David Richardson, the ICC chief executive said “The decision to relocate the match has been made for security reasons. 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”.
The BCCI has assured the ICC that full security will be provided in Kolkata and that both players and fans will have a safe environment during the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan. The BCCI will also refund the full price of tickets purchased online for the Dharmsala game or provide a ticket to the Eden Gardens venue for fans that are willing to travel to Kolkata instead.
Shaharyar Khan, the chairman of the PCB was happy with the move to shift the match to the Eden Gardens but is still not authorized the team to travel to India and is apparently awaiting for the Indian government to provide additional assurance on the safety of the Pakistani team.