After weeks of uncertainty and jingoism from both countries, the Pakistan cricket team’s participation in the World T20 was confirmed sometime back. Nisar Ali Khan, the interior minister contacted the PCB to finally give the green signal, confirming the Pakistan team’s participation.
After weeks of uncertainty surrounding their participation in the World T20, the Pakistan cricket team will finally fly out for India on Saturday after getting clearance from both the government and the PCB. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had sent his recommendation to the Pakistan government a few hours back after receiving assurances from the Home ministry, led by Rajiv Mehrishi. The Pakistan government then put the final seal at around 4:30 PM PST, permitting the team to fly for Indian shores, according to Dawn.
Earlier in the day PCB chairman Shahryar Khan, talked to ANI saying, “Indian Government and BCCI have assured us of foolproof security, now our Interior Minister has to decide.”
On Wednesday, the ICC had obliged the PCB’s request to not play their World T20 game against India in Dharamsala, and announced Eden Gardens as the new venue. The West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee assured all cricketing bodies -CAB, BCCI, ICC- of fool-proof security, with the letter following the same chain(CAB-BCCI-ICC) and finally meant for the PCB. The Bengal government is leaving no stone unturned in preparation for the blockbuster match-up between the arch rivals. Mamata Banerjee also wrote a letter to Sourav Ganguly, assuring the president of Cricket Association of Bengal of full security.
Sourav Ganguly later spoke to the media expressing his jubilation after the Eden Gardens was rewarded with the Indo-Pak game. “This was going on for a while so we had requested the BCCI that we have one of the best grounds in the world and the ground is outstanding now. We wanted to have an India game, every other venue has an India game but we don’t have, only the final," said the former India skipper.
The Pakistan cricket teams(both men and women) were supposed to land in India on Tuesday in preparation for the World Cup T20 but were held back by the PCB after their 3-man delegation found the security measures insufficient at Dharamsala. With the team having their first warm up game scheduled for tomorrow (March 12), the PCB needed to reach a decision at the earliest. Pakistan play India on March 19.