India-Pakistan tie in Dharamsala will be played as scheduled: Thakur

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The marquee World Twenty20 match between India and Pakistan at Dharamsala will be played as scheduled on March 19, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur aserted on Thursday.

Recently the Himachal Pradesh’s political leaders made strong reservations over holding the India-Pakistan match in a state that has a high chunk of serving and retired soldiers in the Indian Army as well as families of martyrs of the Kargil War.

Leaders from both the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party are united in their opposition to the Super 10 Group 2 match being hosted at Dharamsala on March 19, keeping in mind the local sentiments.

But Thakur on Thursday said he has met chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh and the talks have been progressive and the match will be staged as scheduled.

“As far as BCCI is concerned, the India vs Pakistan match is on schedule in Dharamsala. As far as March 19 is concerned, I have met HP chief minister and the talks were very progressive. BCCI and the government want to resolve this situation. We respect the war veterans and martyrs equally,” Thakur said in a press conference here.

Earlier Chief Minister Singh was categorically clear in saying that “if the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) is keen on the match, it can hold it at its own risk”.

BCCI secretary Thakur pointed out that the cricket board condemns acts of terror but sports should not be mixed with politics.

“BCCI condemns attacks like Pathankot but we can’t mix sports with politics,” he said.

Thakur made it clear that the board has not thought of any alternate venues for the high-octane clash.

“No venues have been put on standby as of now as far as the India-Pakistan World T20 match is concerned,” Thakur concluded.

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