The much-anticipated ICC World T20 match between India and Pakistan will not be held in Dharamsala as the Pakistan security team has requested the International Cricket Council to shift the venue, citing lack of sufficient security, according to a report on ESPNCricinfo.
The Pakistan squad was all set to leave for New Delhi from Lahore on Wednesday afternoon despite prevailing uncertainty over security clearance being given to the team to travel to India for the mega-event. Their departure will now be postponed, added the report on ESPNCricinfo.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier confirmed that all the players and officials in the World T20 squad even those belonging to outstation cities have been instructed to report at the National Cricket Academy by Tuesday night.
"The players and officials have been told to be present and ready at the NCA early Wednesday morning where the PCB chairman (Shaharyar Khan) will meet them and they will than depart for the airport to catch a flight to the Indian capital," PCB source told PTI on Tuesday.
This development is despite the BCCI assuring earlier on Tuesday that the match was set to go ahead, according to tournament Director M V Sridhar.
"The match is on. The state and central governments are onboard and all security arrangements have been made," he had said after a meeting with Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry M K Singla.
Pakistan was scheduled to play against India on 19 March in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. There has been some opposition in the state, including from ex-servicemen, on holding the match at the hill station.
Pakistan are understood have requested a change of venue to either Mohali or Kolkata, the report added.
Sridhar, however, had added that discussions with Home Ministry officials remained inconclusive and a few issues were yet to be sorted out.
Sridhar, also General Manager of Cricket Operations of the BCCI, was accompanied by IPL anti-corruption and security unit
head and former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and a few other BCCI officials.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) March 8, 2016
Representatives of Himachal Pradesh government were also present in the meeting. Singla had said a team of officials from Pakistan had visited Dharamsala and expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements in the stadium as well as hotels in the picturesque hill station, which is contradictory to the latest report.
Pakistan will play two matches in Mohali, Punjab — against New Zealand on 22 March and against Australia on 25 March.
The Pakistani team will also play a match in Kolkata on 16 March. The semi-finals of the World Twenty20 tournament will be held in New Delhi on 30 March and in Mumbai a day later. The final will be played in Kolkata on 3 April. The tournament's qualifying matches begin on Tuesday.
With PTI inputs