New Delhi: BCCI secretary Anrurag Thakur on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress-led Himachal Pradesh government saying they tarnished the image of the state and country by forcing the marquee India-Pakistan World T20 match out of Dharamsala.
The clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan was today shifted to Kolkata from the hill town in view of security concerns, putting an end to the uncertainty and suspense over the fate of the high-profile game.
"I think it gives a wrong impression about the country, about the state which is not in the interest of a country like India. Due to one state not delivering why should India get a bad name," an angry Thakur told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event in New Delhi.
"All I can say is that the negative atmosphere created by the ruling party doesn't go well with the fans, sponsors and the country as a host.
"They (Himachal Pradesh government) have left no stone unturned to destroy the image of the state and the country. To give different statements everyday has probably become their habit," he said.
After days of hectic activities and inspection by a Pakistan security delegation, the ICC today finally decided to relocate the match to the iconic Eden Gardens where Pakistan will be based for the initial stages of the event.
The match ran into trouble after the Himachal Pradesh government expressed its inability to provide security for the match.
Thakur, who is also the chief of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, said it was an embarrassing situation created by the state government, for whom the pride of nation is least important.
"I don't see in the World Cup history such kind of situation faced by the ICC ever," Thakur said.
"All I have to say is they have again shown that for them it is family first, party next and nation comes last. The kind of embarrassment they have created for the country and the kind of projection they have given is not fair on part of any chief minister," the BJP MP from Hamirpur said.
"The kind of atmosphere created by the ruling party in the state is very unfortunate."
Thakur said the BCCI and HPCA did its best to host the marque clash but in the end providing security is the onus of the state government.
"We have given one of the world's most beautiful ground, we have created one of the best cricketing facilities available in India. Any cricketer or any fan who have travelled to Dharamsala has always appreciated the facilities which we have created," he said.
"Now security is not in our hands. If the head of the state makes such kind of statement which is against the interest of the state, I think it is upto the cricket fans and people of the state to decide how to react. But from our side we have left no stone unturned to make it possible.
"We can try our level best and we did that. People and states die to host a World Cup match. Himachal Pradesh is a lucky state and we have worked hard to get World Cup matches in the state of Himachal," he said.
He also spoke about the disappointment cricket fans in the state would have to endure.
"Thousands of people who have planned to watch this game how they will react at the last minute when the state falls short of providing security and creating an ugly atmosphere," Thakur added.