India-Pakistan World T20 clash at Dharamsala to go ahead per schedule: ICC CEO Richardson

New Delhi: Unfazed by the uncertainty that looms over the World Twenty20 clash between India and Pakistan in Dharamsala, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday said it is confident of the marquee game going ahead as
scheduled and has no plans of shifting the venue.

Besides, the world body is also not too concerned about the logistical issues faced by Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla ground. The ICC said it has no intention to change the venues which were decided almost a year back.

"Challenges in respect to those two venues, they are there. But we are dealing with those problems," ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson said addressing reporters at a city hotel here.

File image of ICC CEO Dave Richardson. Getty Images

File image of ICC CEO Dave Richardson. Getty Images

"The venues were decided a year back and all arrangements are in place to stage the matches at those two venues. These
challenges have reasons not through the fault of the BCCI or the ICC. But the fact is that we are dealing with these and we are confident that the matches will proceed at those two venues.

A two-member security team from Pakistan has arrived in India on Monday to review the security situation ahead of the national side's visit to Kolkata, where they are scheduled to play their first game of the World T20 on 16 March against the winner of the Group A qualifier.

The visit comes amid controversy over the India and Pakistan match scheduled to be played in Dharamsala on 19 March. The fate of the match became uncertain after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh wrote to the Home Ministry stating that the state government cannot provide security for the game in the wake of the recent terror attack on the Pathankot air base during which two soldiers of the state were martyred.

"The Indian government has shown a commitment to make sure that adequate security measures are in place at all the venues for all the teams," Richardson said. He also said the ICC are working closely with the BCCI and PCB to sort out the issue.

"I can assure you that the BCCI and PCB are communicating, as is the ICC with both parties. We will make sure we do
everything were can to make sure the event takes place at a safe and secure environment," Richardson said.

When asked whether the ICC would impose any fine or sanction on Pakistan if they pull out due to security concerns, Richardson quipped: "They are not going to pull out. Such a scenario will not arise and I am not a person who will speculate on things."

Besides Dharamsala, the matches at Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla were thrown into crisis after the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) failed to get various clearances from the local bodies.

Asked about both issues, the ICC CEO said: "The speculation and uncertainty around venues are created by factors beyond our control. Because they have a reason in recent times, we find ourselves having to deal with it very close to the event which is not ideal but unfortunately we can't ignore them and we're dealing with it as best as we can.

BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur also sounded optimistic about the two venues holding the World Twenty20 games. He informed that the Himachal Pradesh government on Friday assured the state High Court that it would provide security for the 19 March India-Pakistan World T20 match in Dharamsala.

"Both venues were allotted matches a year ago. The ICC or BCCI played no role. The state government in Himachal told the
High Court that they would provide security," the BJP MP from Hamirpur said.

"In the court the state government representative clearly said the state govt will provide security to all the teams.' We have committed to give foolproof security to all the teams and India is capable of providing that. We want to make it a memorable tournament.

"At DDCA, all formalities would be over by tomorrow and all problems would be sorted out," he said.


Updated Date: Mar 08, 2016 08:34 AM

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