The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants security assurances from India before it allows the team to travel to the World Twenty20 with their first group match at Kolkata scheduled for next Wednesday.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan briefed the team players and officials in Lahore on Thursday and was hopeful the Indian government will publicly guarantee the Pakistan team’s safety during the tournament.
The PCB said in a statement that Shaharyar “was hopeful that the security assurances would be given and the information on the security situation will be furnished to the government of Pakistan for their further directions in this regard”.
Shaharyar told the players the team’s departure will only be possible once India gives security assurances and the Pakistan government also clears the tour.
“In case the government allows travel to India, the team should focus on the game and demonstrate a high level of discipline and commitment,” Shaharyar told the players.
Shaharyar said the government and every Pakistani wanted to see the former champions play in India.
“Despite a lot of apprehensions and the fact that India do not want to play Pakistan [in bilateral series] on one or other pretext, the government and every Pakistani fan want to see our team, who are former champions, to go and play,” he said.
“This is a world event, but can cricket be played under the shadow of threats? It is the government’s responsibility to ensure security of our players and that we are doing.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already moved Pakistan’s group match against hosts India to Kolkata on March 19 due to security concerns around playing in the hill city of Dharamsala.
Pakistan were originally scheduled to fly out to Kolkata from Lahore on Wednesday. Despite the switch in venue for the match against India, the PCB deferred the team’s departure until the Indian government publicly guarantees the security of the team.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh bowlers Arafat Sunny and Taskin Ahmed have been reported for suspect bowling actions during their side’s opening match in the World Twenty20.
Off-spinner Sunny, 29, and paceman Ahmed, 20, turned out for Bangladesh in a qualifying match against the Netherlands in Dharamsala on Wednesday. Bangladesh won the match by eight runs. The bowlers’ action would now be scrutinised further by the ICC under its process relating to suspected illegal bowling action.
“The ICC is working with the Bangladesh cricket team management to confirm times for the independent testing of both bowlers at the ICC-accredited testing centre in Chennai,” the game’s world governing body said in a statement.
Both players will be allowed to continue playing until the results of the tests are declared.
The ICC launched a crackdown against suspect actions in 2014, which resulted in several leading bowlers being reported.
Other bowlers who have been up hauled up include Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake and Tharindu Kaushal.
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Published: March 10, 2016 04:00 AM