first_imgThe Pakistan national cricket team will depart for the ICC World Twenty20 in India on Friday after a nod from the Pakistani government.The Pakistani team is expected to reach New Delhi airport at 2 PM tomorrow. The match, scheduled to be played on March 19, had to be shifted after serving and retired Indian Army personnel and political leaders in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh opposed it since Kangra district — where Dharamsala is situated — is home to a large number of martyrs’ families. (Also read: Uncertainty continues over Pakistan’s participation in ICC World Twenty20)Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had also stated that the administration will not be able to provide adequate security for the event. Although the Indian government was willing to provide paramilitary forces to secure the match venue, the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to shift the tie on Wednesday. (Also read: Pakistani fans in race against time for visas after change in World T20 venue) The national team was originally due to leave for India on Tuesday evening. But the PCB postponed the departure as they awaited the final report from the three-member security delegation which they had sent to review the security arrangements in Dharamsala. The PCB had demanded written assurances from a senior functionary of the Indian government on the security of the Pakistan team during the World T20. Vikas Swarup,spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had this to say at his weekly press briefing. “All necessary arrangements including those for security have been made in the past for all international sporting events organised in India.advertisement”Recently, as you are aware, the South Asian Federation Games saw good and enthusiastic participation of large contingents from all SAARC countries including Pakistan.”We are confident that the ICC World Twenty20 will also be a resounding success in all aspects.”Following Swarup’s statement, Pakistani media reported that the government had cleared the team’s departure for India. PCB chairman Shahryar Khan spoke with the Pakistan players on Thursday and told them to remain focused on the game.Chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan speaking to the Pakistan men’s team at National Cricket Academy Lahore PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) March 10, 2016Khan told the players that the current situation is similar to the conditions in 1999 when the team went on a tour of India and came back victorious. The match faces a security threat in Kolkata as well, with the Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI) threatening to dig up the pitch at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. The ATFI has been opposing hosting of the Pakistan team until the terror masterminds behind the Mumbai, Pathankot and the recent Pampore attacks are handed over to India by Pakistan.last_img

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