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ICC confident about smooth staging of Pakistan-India match

ICC confident about smooth staging of Pakistan-India match

NEW DELHI: Despite T20 World Cup clash between India and Pakistan in Dharamsala facing uncertainty, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday said it is confident of the marquee game going ahead as scheduled and has no plans of shifting the venue.

Besides, the world body is also not too concerned about the logistical issues faced by Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground. The ICC said it has no intention to change the venues which were decided almost a year back.

“The venues were decided a year back and all arrangements are in place to stage the matches at those two venues,” said Dave Richardson, ICC’s chief executive. “These challenges have reasons not due to fault of the BCCI or the ICC. But the fact is that we are dealing with these and we are confident that the matches will proceed at those two venues.”

Pakistan are scheduled to play their first game on March 16 against the winner of the Group A qualifier.

The fate of the match between India and Pakistan became uncertain after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh wrote to the Home Ministry stating that the state government cannot provide security for the game in the wake of the recent terror attack on the Pathankot air base.

“The Indian government has shown a commitment to make sure that adequate security measures are in place at all the venues for all the teams,” Richardson said.

He also said the ICC are working closely with the BCCI and PCB to sort out the issue. “I can assure you that the BCCI and PCB are communicating, as is the ICC with both parties. We will make sure we do everything we can to make sure the event takes place at a safe and secure environment,” Richardson said.

When asked whether the ICC would impose any fine or sanction on Pakistan if they pull out due to security concerns, Richardson quipped: “They are not going to pull out. Such a scenario will not arise and I am not a person who will speculate on things.”

Besides Dharamsala, the matches at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla were thrown into crisis after the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) failed to get various clearances from the local bodies.

Asked about both issues, the ICC CEO said: “The speculation and uncertainty around venues are created by factors beyond our control. Because they have a reason in recent times, we find ourselves having to deal with it very close to the event which is not ideal but unfortunately we can’t ignore them and we’re dealing with it as best as we can.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur also sounded optimistic about the two venues holding the World Twenty20 games.

He informed that the Himachal Pradesh government on Friday assured the state High Court that it would provide security for the March 19 India-Pakistan World T20 match in Dharamsala.

“In the court the state government representative clearly said the state govt will provide security to all the teams,” said Anurag. “We have committed to give foolproof security to all the teams and India is capable of providing that. We want to make it a memorable tournament.

“At DDCA, all formalities would be over by tomorrow and all problems would be sorted out,” he said.

The International Cricket Council is confident of a clean World Twenty20 tournament even as it focuses on educating low-profile teams on fixing approaches, chief executive David Richardson said on Monday.

“Whereas we’ve made sure that every player from the main countries is not corrupt, we are focusing on associate teams and women’s teams,” Richardson said at a press conference. “We have to make sure players from all countries are educated, understand their responsibilities and will not get involved.”

The former South Africa player said it would not be right to speculate on individuals or teams after the chairman of the world body’s anti-corruption unit, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, said members of an international team intended to manipulate events in upcoming matches.

“He said one of the teams was under investigation. I think we need to take that in perspective. We shouldn’t speculate that it involves any match-fixing or spot-fixing with any particular players or particular teams…therefore, an investigation will resolve it.”

“In recent times you would have read in the media that a particular player was suspended from his country and the investigations led to that same team,” he said in reference to associate teams.

Hong Kong player Irfan Ahmed, who was to be in the team for the World Twenty20, was charged in January for not reporting a fixing approach and faces a ban of between two to five years.

“Our anti-corruption unit has been working with the law enforcement agencies and the police agencies in India to make sure that any information is shared. I’m very confident that all matches will be played in great spirit,” Richardson added.

The 16-team World Twenty20 begins Tuesday with the final slated for April 3. It will feature 35 matches over 27 days with eight teams figuring in the preliminary league. Two of them will advance to join eight top teams in the Super 10 stage starting on March 15.

Bangladesh, Ireland, Oman and the Netherlands form one group while Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Scotland and Zimbabwe are in the other.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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