#ICCWT20: Pakistan vs India moved


Seven Indian security personnel were killed in a Jan. 2 militant attack on the Indian Air Force Base at Pathankot near Dharamsala and 25 km (16 miles) from the Pakistan border.

Pakistan said on Wednesday it had arrested several members of the Kashmir-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, or Army of Mohammad, militant group, which is suspected of masterminding the attack.

Indian war veterans in the nearby state of Himachal Pradesh opposed hosting the Pakistan cricket team in Dharamsala.

The situation led Pakistan to send a delegation to review security at the northern Indian town, while delaying the departure of their men's and women's cricket teams.

"Safety and security of the event is of paramount importance to the ICC," the organisation's chief executive David Richardson told reporters. "It was a difficult decision."

Pakistan open their tournament on March 16 against a qualifying team in Kolkata before their match with India. They then face New Zealand on March 22 and Australia on March 25, with both of those matches in Mohali.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since becoming separate countries in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Richardson said the ICC was still awaiting an absolute assurance from Pakistan of their participation in the sixth edition of the world Twenty20 tournament.

Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, had said on Monday there was no question of the country not playing in the tournament but that other venues needed to be considered for the match at Dharamsala.

"I have written to (ICC chairman Shashank Manohar) that if you want us to play somewhere else because of issues at Dharamsala we are willing to consider that," he told reporters in Lahore. "We have never refused to play."

Khan said security was the responsibility of state governments in India with the central government unwilling to direct their state counterparts on what to do.

Virbhadra Singh, chief minister of the state government of Himachal Pradesh, where Dharamsala is located, told local media earlier this month there were concerns over whether they could provide adequate security for Pakistan's team in Dharamsala.

The tournament opened on Tuesday with qualifying matches before the main draw begins on March 15. The final will be held at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 3.


Original source: #ICCWT20: Pakistan vs India moved