India-Pakistan tie will be held in Dharamsala: BCCI’s Shukla

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) senior official Rajiv Shukla asserted on Friday that the Worldt20 clash between India and Pakistan will be held in Dharamsala on March 19 as scheduled.

“As far as the match is concerned, we are firm that we will be hosting the match there (Dharamsala) as per schedule because there are interest 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,” Shukla told the media here.

Political leaders in Himachal Pradesh cutting across party lines have expressed their reservations on holding the Super 10 Group 2 match in the state. Serving and retired Indian Army personnel have also voiced their opposition as Kangra district — where Dharamsala is located — is home to a large number of martyred soldiers.

The issue had earlier sparked a war of words between Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur. They later held a meeting to sort out the issue.

While Virbhadra Singh had sent a letter to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserting that the state government will not be able to provide security during the game, former chief minister Shanta Kumar in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the match should not be allowed at Dharamsala as Kangra district is home to hundreds of valiant jawans, martyrs and ex-servicemen.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan had on Thursday 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.

Shukla however, assured that the Pakistani team 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,” the Indian Premier League chairman asserted.

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