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'Pakistan will play without fear in India'

Published Jan 26, 2013 04:37pm


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basit ali, pakistan women's cricket team, diana baig, women's cricket world cup, icc women's world cup, 2013 women's world cu, women's world cup pakistan, sana mir, mohtashim rasheed, pakistan women's cricket team cuttack
“People in Pakistan and India share a unique bond and we will have no fear in playing in India where the fans want to see Pakistan play.” -Photo by Sara Faruqi/

LAHORE: Pakistan's women cricketers will leave for India late Saturday to compete in the World Cup, with their batting coach hoping the team will 'build bridges' between the two nations despite recent tensions.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to shift Group B matches involving Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from Mumbai to the eastern Indian city of Cuttack after the right-wing Indian Shiv Sena party threatened to disturb the event.

Their protest followed a rise in tension between India and Pakistan following a series of cross-border exchanges in the disputed Kashmir region with both countries accusing each other of violations along the de facto border known as the Line of Control.

Nine Pakistani hockey players had to be withdrawn from the inaugural Hockey India League after protests from the party in Mumbai earlier this month, casting serious doubts over the women's World Cup matches.

Coach Basit Ali, a former Pakistan batsman, said the women's team will try their best to pacify things.

“We are not afraid of anything,” Ali told AFP, hours before the team's departure to New Delhi.

“We will try to build bridges through cricket and I think there is no such thing as animosity in sports.”

The World Cup starts from January 31 with Group A matches, involving defending champions England, India, the West Indies and Sri Lanka, to be played in the original venue in Mumbai.

Pakistan will stay in Cuttack, in the Indian state of Orissa, if they qualify for the second round, but will still have to travel to Mumbai if they make the final, the ICC said in a statement on Friday.

Ali, who played 19 Tests and 50 one-day matches for Pakistan during the 1990s, lamented threats from the Shiv Sena.

“Sports should never be disturbed, because Pakistan through its cricket board chief Zaka Ashraf had revived bilateral relations with India last month and it should progress rather than going back,” said Ali.

India had suspended all bilateral ties with Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, blamed on militants based across the border.

However, New Delhi cleared a short, limited-over series, paving the way for the Pakistani team to play two Twenty20 and three one-day matches in India in December and January -- the first series between the arch-rivals in five years.

Ali said the women's team will play without any fear.

“People in Pakistan and India share a unique bond and we will have no fear in playing in India where the fans want to see Pakistan play,” said Ali.

“Our chairman had sent a bouquet to the late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray last year and had requested to him that cricket should go on without any trouble.”


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Comments (41) Closed

Hazard Jan 26, 2013 10:29pm
good luck we beat the mens team just hope the girls can to....
Arif Jan 26, 2013 11:16pm
Why risk sending our women somewhere they are not welcome. Liberals in Pakistan are totally out of touch with reality.
Ali Jan 26, 2013 06:28pm
Pakistan stay positive and never let these people scare you and derail your path to peace. Peace is the way forward.
Kris Jan 27, 2013 12:02am
Shiv Sena is not almighty gods. Bombay Police can handle them. Only players from both sides can show their fearlessness
Kris Jan 27, 2013 12:03am
Why? Justify your statement and give proper reason
Zahur Jan 26, 2013 08:34pm
I don't understand why Pakistanis go to india in any capacity? That country has a trail of no respect for foreigners. Here in the West, india's reality is much more exposed and people fear to travel to india but Pakistan still wants to send it's players?
Rauf Jan 27, 2013 12:06am
dont understand why pak govt is so desperate to please India .India always accusing pak govt and pak govt only trying to appease the Indians .Pakistani hockey players were sent back to pakistan and denied visa and even minadad was denied visa .Pak plyaers were not allowed to play in IPL. Pak govt atleast have some guts and say no to India .
raja hindustani Jan 26, 2013 05:01pm
There is no as such threat to any Pakistani players or artists as a persona in India. People/organisations in India are protesting against the events/game as people here believe Pakistan is not serious in making peace with India. LOC incident hurts everybody here and this type of incident not happened for the first time from Pakistani side in last 65 yrs. Let's hope we could attain peace agreement in real term and players & artists from both side can travel without any hurdle someday......
doctor Jan 26, 2013 05:08pm
not welcome then why don't you come back. have some pride guys.
himesh Jan 26, 2013 06:09pm
No need of any fear , shiv sena is a political party confined in Maharastra capital mumbai only. Welcome to Cuttack , no worry whatsoever.
Agha Ata (USA) Jan 26, 2013 05:06pm
Yes. Pakistan will paly without fear in India, because there aren't that kind of terrorists over there as we have over here.
viv Jan 27, 2013 02:55pm
obsessed with india....
Sudheer Jan 27, 2013 02:22pm
I hate Pakistan for what they did to our soldiers on the border. But, I wholeheartedly welcome Pakistani girls. They are woman first and Pakistani later. A woman deserves our utmost respect, even if she belongs to Pakistan. I am sure a vast majority of Indians do think like me. The shiv sena people are in a miniscule minority and confined only to some pockets of Mumbai. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about, you are most welcome.
vj Jan 26, 2013 07:57pm
Pakistanis players to coming to India is not a possibility at least for another 1-2 years.
Deepak Jan 27, 2013 02:15pm
ur players r more safer in india, ur taliban r ready to attack ur women team coz they feel that it is against the sharia law.
viv Jan 27, 2013 02:52pm
pak players were sent with full fee given to them without playing a single game.
Nair Jan 27, 2013 12:03pm
It is in the best of interest for Pakistan team to not to visit India under the prevailing scenario. Indian govt: too will not support the idea of Pakistan team playing on Indian soil as they are bracing towards a democratic mandate during the first half of 2014 and in no way will they want to alienate the infuriated Indian masses any further. Pakistan in the meanwhile can organise a parallel tourney in their homeland and claim walk over against all the other nations as none of them will in any way dare to play in Pakistan!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bipul Jan 27, 2013 01:41pm
It's not only allegation, Indians give facts to Pakistani government. Search on Captain Kalia and read what happened. Then search on comments from Rehman Mallik when he visited India, everything he said was outrageous. IPL stopped entertaining pakistani player after Mumbai attack which Pakistan government is yet to concede that it involved Pakistani terrorists. Pakistani hockey players were sent back after Pakistan chose to infiltrate India and killed two soldiers. It's useless India that somehow still allowing these women players.
kash Jan 27, 2013 01:25pm
They are a terror group blamed for many terrorist activities....but wait.. the incredible India does no wrong.
raj Jan 27, 2013 11:31am
ya right paki babes... you will play without fear coz we dont have suicide blast, bombing, drone attacks happening day in and day out just like ur country...............hahahahahahahaha
Baig Jan 27, 2013 12:50am
Get out of you not understand
Amit Jan 27, 2013 08:38am
VJ - I am an Indian - I dont agree with you. I would say let the flowers of peace bloom!!
munnapakora Jan 26, 2013 06:59pm
All the best to Pakistan Women Cricket Team. May you beat Indian women team in India.
munna Jan 26, 2013 06:58pm
All the best to Pakistan Women Cricket Team. May you beat India in India.
Amir Jan 26, 2013 06:39pm
Who are we kidding here? You can not build bridges if the other side is hell bend on destroying it. What does sports have to do with what goes on at the border? If it was India, it would have withdrawn its team by now but for some reason, the spineless PCB and this government is hell bend on pleasing India for reasons that defy the common sense. Sports should never be brought into politics. Players are not trained for these types of hostile environments.
Jag Jan 27, 2013 12:48am
The max the Shiv Sena has done is dig up the wicket .. they have never attacked any team evern contrary to what happned in Pkaistan to the sri lankan team ... so why is that fear ?
HNY2013 Jan 27, 2013 07:46am
Why dont we give guns to our politicians and religious war mongers and leave them in an isolated island to settle it amongst them self and leave us common people alone so that we live happily ever after as good friendly Pakistanis and Indians?
kash Jan 27, 2013 01:21pm
oh really...why don't we try Mumbai then ??
nitindivekar Jan 27, 2013 10:36am
Welcome to India. But beware from electronics media in india. Even our army dance on its tune.
Md Imran Jan 27, 2013 09:17pm
I request Hon CJ and Hon Rehman Malik to take notice of the worsening situation in India. The interior minister should lose no time in declaring travel advisory for Pakistanis travelling to India.
Amir Jan 28, 2013 12:41am
What makes you think that the violation took place from Pakistan's side and not from India's?
A Pati Jan 27, 2013 08:08am
Indian state of Odisha and cuttack district will welcome all players except pakistanis . We can't be violent like pakistanis , but we will surely protest against this . I don't understand why N.Patnaik agreed to arrival of pakistani players , when state of Odisha had lost around 50 jawans during Kargil intrusion .This is unacceptable .
Vikram Jan 27, 2013 03:19am
The International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to shift Group B matches involving Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from Mumbai to the eastern Indian city of Cuttack after the right-wing Indian Shiv Sena party threatened to disturb the event. You never know LeT and its sponsors may attack Pakistani women and blame Shiv Sena for it
Avishek Roy Jan 27, 2013 10:12am
All the best Team Pakistan... Welcome to India...
Rocky Jan 27, 2013 04:15am
Pakistanis play some of the best cricket in the world. Rivalry on playground is much better than rivalry on battle field. Yes, people in India are rightfully upset with a continuing saga of transgressions from Pak.
Oriyaboy Jan 27, 2013 05:11am
Iam Oriya and Cuttack is my homeland ...Pakistan you are not welcome here go back ..
rohan Jan 27, 2013 05:23am
off course. there is no redical islam here, ............ so play without fear.
Mandeep Jan 27, 2013 05:32am
They know they are safer in India than in Pakistan notwithstanding the opposition by some fringe elements.
Monty, India Jan 27, 2013 05:36am
there is no fear in india for pak players..its media and political propaganda......
mumtaz Jan 27, 2013 06:00am
I thankful to all those friends who guided me regarding where is Cuttack.
Tahir Alam Jan 27, 2013 06:14am
is Shiv Sena a political party???