March 11: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has still not given a green signal to its men and women’s teams for travelling to India. The board’s chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Friday that after the Indian government and BCCI’s assurance of spotless security, the Interior Minister of Pakistan will take the final call. “Indian Govt and BCCI have assured us of foolproof security, now our Interior Minister has to decide,” Khan said.
Incidentally, the PCB chief held a meeting with all Pakistan players on Thursday at Pakistan’s National Cricket Academy and then speculations were rife that the 2007 World T20 champions would reach Kolkata on Friday morning. However later in the day, PCB and Pak government wanted a written assurance from Indian government regarding the security of its players.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur kept saying that there can’t be any separate assurances to all the teams. But then he has to understand that Pakistan team is the only one to have been singled out by some groups in India. So, you can’t really compare Pakistan team situation with that of any other team. That’s why we have been asking for that one liner from the Indian government,” Khan said.
Senior BCCI functionary Rajeev Shukla said the board takes the full responsibility of providing fool proof security to all the teams visiting the nation for the World T20. “I am giving the assurance that full proof security would be provided to them .We are supposed to speak to the concerned state government and to the district administration. We are supposed to provide the security. We will be getting in touch with them. And our entire team is working in coordination with the local administration. So, security and safety will be taken care of,” Shukla said.
“Now, Pakistan should not insist on this particular thing that they want something on writing. That’s between the two governments and I can’t say on that. But I think they should send their team,” he added.
Shukla, who is also the chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL), said that he did not understand the reason behind Pakistan’s concern despite the venue being shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata. “The entire security responsibility goes on the host board. So, why Pakistan Cricket Board is concerned about it. They wanted their venue to be shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata that has been done. Now, I think they should not be concerned about the safety and the security of their players. That”s the responsibility of the BCCI,” said Shukla.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that Pakistan can feel safe to visit India. “Whoever will come to India will stay secure,” Rajnath said. Now the ball is in Pak interior minister Nisar Ali Khan’s court to decide the further course of action.