The Pakistan government has decided to send its national cricket team to India to participate in the ICC ODI World Cup (October 5 to November 19), emphasising that the stretched state of bilateral relations between the two countries should not become a hurdle in fulfilling international sporting obligations.
A statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office said that while the national cricket team will travel to India for the World Cup, concerns over the security of the players remain a serious and major issue.
“Pakistan believes that the 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-a-vis India’s intransigent attitude, as the latter had refused to send its cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup," the statement read.
“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," it added.
Pakistan further hopes that India will ensure full-proof security for the Pakistan cricket team during its visit to India, it said.
Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf had maintained that the cricket team will only be allowed to travel to India after getting the necessary approval from the government.
The PCB had also maintained that it will send a security team to India first, which will ensure safety arrangements for the team.
PCB’s recommendations were discussed in detail during a meeting of the special committee formed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup in India.
The decision to send the team to India for the World Cup is most certainly wonderful news for cricket fans, who would start gearing up for an India-Pakistan showdown on October 15 in Ahmedabad.
India-Pakistan cricket match is considered as by far the biggest sporting event in the cricketing world. And when that is going to be happening on India’s home ground, the excitement and intensity around it would certainly multiply among the fans on either side of the border.
Pakistan is scheduled to play a minimum of nine matches in the World Cup in India scheduled in different stadia across the neighbouring country.