March 4: Amidst the growing uncertainty over the fate of the India-Pakistan clash in the forthcoming World Twenty20, senior BCCI functionary Rajeev Shukla on Friday categorically said that the much-anticipated clash will be held in Dharamshala as scheduled on March 19.
“As far as the match is concerned, we are firm that we will be hosting the match there (Dharamshala) as per schedule because there are interests of commitments which requires to be fulfilled. Otherwise, the ICC will take a stern action against the venue. The state government is also willing to cooperate,” said Shukla, the Indian Premier League chairman.
Earlier, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had expressed his aversion to the Indo-Pak match in his state after the ex-servicemen and families of slain army officials opposed to stage a match involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent Pathankot attacks.
However, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur asserted that a decision was taken that any bilateral match between India and Pakistan will not be held in Dharamsala following a meeting with the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister but the World T20 game must take place as the state and country’s image is at stake.
On Thursday, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan had threatened to pull out of the T20 format’s pinnacle event if they failed to get clarity about the security situation from the Indian government.
Dismissing all such concerns, Shukla assured that the visitors will be given foolproof security. “We will be providing foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team. All the players will be safe. Now, it is for Pakistan cricket board to take a decision.”