MURIDKE: Pakistan women cricket team’s chief coach Mohtashim Rasheed hopes for a good tournament for his team at the new venue, Cuttack, in India which was announced by the ICC in view of security concerns that came up after nine men hockey players from Pakistan, who were to feature in Hockey India League (HIL), were forced to return home following threats to their lives by Hindu extremist party Shiv Sena.
“The ICC Women's World Cup is a big international event, so the grounds in Cuttack must be up to a certain standard. But grounds and wickets are not really a major concern for us at this stage as we have been more worried about being stopped from featuring in the event,” the coach told Dawn on Friday.
“The girls have qualified for the World Cup and have been working very hard for it. They deserved to play and play they will.”
“When our team played in India earlier, in 2007, it was in Guwahati. We hadn't even heard of that city then and even Cuttack will be a very new place for us. But we aim to play good cricket there,” said Mohtashim.
Team captain Sana Mir said that she had heard that Cuttack was a cantonment area which makes it a safe venue. “But it will be interesting to see what happens if we qualify for the Super Sixes. Because the next round's matches are all in Mumbai.”
“Some of them are also day and night encounters and most of the matches, especially the India matches, are televised, too. Changing venues then will also create TV rights issues,” she pointed out.