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Monday June 17, 2024

Pakistan allows cricket team to take part in World Cup in India

Islamabad expresses deep concern regarding the security of its cricket team in India

By Abdul Mohi Shah
August 07, 2023
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (right) and his teammate Mohammad Rizwan celebrate their win in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 24, 2021. — AFP
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (right) and his teammate Mohammad Rizwan celebrate their win in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 24, 2021. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has given a go-ahead to the national team’s participation in the ICC World Cup starting in India from October 5 with the Greenshirts taking on The Netherlands in their first match the next day.

The Foreign Office issued a brief statement Sunday that the government while acting upon the majority’s advice of the 14-member Ministerial Committee has decided to allow the national cricketers to cross the border for the World Cup in India.

The sporting decision from the government came at the heels of the recent decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not to allow their team to play Asia Cup in Pakistan.

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics. It has, therefore, decided to send its national team to India to participate in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023.”

While a few ministers from the Pakistan People’s Party including the ministry head concerned Ehsanur Rehman Mazari opposed the idea of sending the team to India, majority of the members of the committee mostly from PMLN backed Pakistan team’s travelling to India to participate in the World Cup.

“Pakistan believes that state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations. Pakistan’s decision shows its constructive and responsible approach vis-à-vis India’s intransigent attitude, as the latter had refused to send its team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup,” the Foreign Office handout says.

Concerns for the national team’s security remain a big issue for Pakistan.

“Pakistan, however, has deep concerns about the security of its cricket team. We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Indian authorities. We expect that full safety and security of the Pakistan team will be ensured during its visit to India.”

Pakistan has already expressed its reservations about security measures in Ahmadabad where Pakistan and India will face each other on October 14.

The concerns were also shown that if Pakistan refused to travel to India, the ICC and organisers might think in terms of replacing the Greenshirts with West India or Zimbabwe. Pakistan cricketers after competing in the Asia Cup, are expected to leave for India in the fourth week of September.