Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday put the ball in BCCI’s court ahead of the much anticipated India-Pakistan clash in Dharamsala, but assured that they would provide full security to any team which visits the state to play the World T20.
“It is up to them (PCB) whether they want to play or not. It is up to the Cricket Board of India whether they want to play or not. As far as Himachal Pradesh is concerned, no matter which team plays we will provide them safety to the extent possible,” he told the media here.
“I have never said that the protestors would not be removed. We will keep the protestors at a distance that does not mean that there would be inconvenience in the stadium,” he insisted.
The Chief Minister had earlier expressed his aversion to the Indo-Pak match in his state.
“At this point of time, Pakistan’s match should not be in Dharamsala. BCCI should either cancel or shift the match to other state to honour the sentiments of families of martyrs,” he said.
His comments came 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.
Accusing the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister of sending a wrong message to the world by creating a furore over the security for the India-Pakistan WorldTwenty20 match at Dharamsala, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said earlier that it was now up to the state government to figure out if they are capable of holding the match on the decided venue.
“When the Chief Minister says that the situation is unstable and that there should be no match, it worsens the conditions and a wrong message is sent. I think the state government needs to decide if they are capable of holding the match. After telling the court that they can provide security, he is going back on his words,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur told the media.
Citing security concerns, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had earlier delayed the departure of the women and men’s national cricket team to India for the World T20.
A two-member PCB security delegation comprising senior director of the Federal Investigation Agency Usman Anwar and Col. Azam from the Ministry of Interior arrived in India on Monday to assess the situation ahead of the Dharamsala T20 on March 19.