No pressure from ICC to send team to India for World T20: PCB

Updated 18 Feb 2016

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In this photo, Rangers keep watch outside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters in Lahore. — AFP/File
In this photo, Rangers keep watch outside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters in Lahore. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board is not under any pressure from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to participate in next month’s World Twenty20 in India and will send national team for the mega event only after government’s clearance, a PCB spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The decision to send the team to India lies with the government. We have written two letters to the government, seeking approval to chip in the event. We are bound to follow whatever decision the government takes,” the spokesman told APP.

Recently, a section of Indian media reported that the ICC had warned the PCB to play the World T20 in India or face legal action.

The PCB spokesman however termed these reports rumours, insisting that no such thing had come from the game’s world governing body.

“It is true that in a recent ICC meeting, the PCB raised the concerns regarding security of its players in the upcoming World T20 in India. But nothing of the sort as reported in a section of Indian media came from the ICC,” he stated.

To a query in case Pakistan pulled out of the event what could be the possible ICC action, the spokesman said that the ICC did nothing when Australia while citing security reasons pulled out of the recently concluded U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, it would be unwise to believe any action would be taken in Pakistan’s case. “We’ve clarified our position during the ICC meeting. Our concerns are genuine,” he said.

“A few months ago, the ICC itself had withdrawn Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from officiating in a bilateral series in India. Then how can it now suggest us to send our team to that country?

“The PCB chief [Shaharyar Khan] has already stated that if the government doesn’t allow us to send our team to India we’ll request the ICC to shift our matches to neutral venues,” the PCB spokesman maintained.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2016