Richardson confident of Indo-Pak World T20 match in Dharamsala

KARACHI: The ICC chief executive, David Richardson has expressed confidence that the India-Pakistan match will take place in Dharamsala as scheduled on March 19 despite there being security concerns over the venue.

A two-member team from Pakistan visited Dharamsala to assess the security arrangements for the World T20. On Tuesday, MV Sridhar, tournament director of the World T20, said the delegation had been given security assurances by the local administration and all scheduled plans for the match were “on track”.

“As of now all the plans as scheduled are on track. In the worst-case scenario, if something happens we will have to go back to the drawing table. But as of now that’s not on the cards,” Sridhar said in Dharamsala.

Richardson addressed concerns around Dharamsala and Delhi, a venue that has had severe administrative problems. He was confident that scheduled matches could proceed at both venues.

“Challenges in respect to those two venues, they are there,” Richardson said. “But we are dealing with those problems. The venues were decided a year back and all arrangements are in place to stage the matches at those two venues.

“These challenges have reasons not through the fault of the BCCI or the ICC. But the fact is that we are dealing with these and we are confident that the matches will proceed at those two venues.

The Indian government has shown a commitment to make sure that adequate security measures are in place at all the venues for all the teams.”

According to a report, Federal Investigation Agency Lahore director Usman Anwar and PCB chief security officer Azam Khan arrived in India via the Wagah border and left for Dharamsala on Monday. Their report will have a crucial impact on whether the PCB clears its men’s and women’s teams for travel to India on March 9 for the World T20.

The Pakistan government had initially granted the PCB permission to play in India, but the board decided to put the visit on hold until they were guaranteed foolproof security.

The PCB’s move was prompted by the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh expressing his state government’s difficulty in providing security for the India-Pakistan match. APP