Cricket board’s executive committee chairman Najam Sethi on Monday rubbished a report published by Daily Mail’s India edition claiming that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has threatened Pakistan with “legal action” if the country did not participate in the World T20 citing “security concerns”.
“The ICC has asked us about the status of our participation in the World T20. We have told them that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has written to the Government of Pakistan seeking approval to travel to India and is awaiting their response in this regard,” said Sethi while talking to DawnNews.
“There is nothing more to that. Neither have the ICC asked us more on the subject, nor have we contacted them for anything,” he added.
The report published by Daily Mail on February 15, 2016, stated: “The PCB’s concerns about security arrangements at the World T20, to be hosted in India this March, are baseless. [The ICC] is satisfied with the security arrangements made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).”
The report also quoted a ‘senior ICC official’ as saying that “if so many Pakistani athletes can travel to India and participate in the South Asian Games meet, there is no reason why 20 people can’t be allowed to represent the country at the mega ICC event”.
Earlier on February 9, PCB supremo Shaharyar Khan said a proposal was given to the ICC to play their World T20 matches on neutral venues in case the Pakistan government does not allow the team to tour India.
India is to host the ICC World Twenty20 from March 8 to April 3 but Pakistan’s participation is subject to government clearance as there are specific threats, Khan told the ICC.
Khan said there have been incidents recently which suggested that there are indeed Pakistan-specific threats. “They are not general threats, like Australia had in Bangladesh and they did not send their team for the Under-19 World Cup,” he said.
Australia withdrew from the January-February Junior World Cup over security fears.
Commenting on Pakistan contingent’s participation in the South Asian Games, the PCB chief said, “A 500-plus Pakistan contingent featuring in the South Asian Federation (SA) Games in Guwhati is different from a cricketing event. There are more chances of attacks on cricketers than on swimmers and players of other games.”