Pakistan's World T20 matches may be played at neutral venue: PCB

Published: February 9, 2016
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan’s cricket chief Monday said a proposal was given to play their World Twenty20 matches on neutral venues next month in the event that Islamabad does not allow the team to tour India.

India host the ICC World Twenty20 from March 8 to April 3 but Pakistan’s participation is subject to government clearance as there are specific threats, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said.

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“We have told the ICC (International Cricket Council) now and before as well, the decision (to tour India) is with the government and it will consider if there is a specific Pakistan oriented security threat,” Khan told media.

Khan said a proposal was given during the ICC Board meeting in Dubai last week.

“Someone in the ICC meeting said that if there are doubts over extremists (at Pakistan matches) we are ready to play at neutral venues in case our government does not give the permission to tour India,” said Khan.

Neighbours Pakistan and India share a volatile relationship. There was a thaw recently as Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif briefly met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a climate change meeting in Paris late last year.

That was followed by a surprise visit by Modi to Lahore to attend Sharif’s birthday and a family gathering.

But last month’s attacks on an Indian air base in Pathankot derailed the peace process leading to the cancellation of talks between the foreign secretaries.

Khan said there have been incidents recently which suggested that there are indeed Pakistan-specific threats.

“They are not general threats, like Australia had in Bangladesh and they did not send their team for the Under-19 World Cup,” Khan said.

Australia withdrew from the January-February Junior World Cup over security fears.

“PCB could hold a meeting with the BCCI officials in Mumbai (the BCCI office was the scene of protests by Shiv Sena activists in October 2015), Pakistan singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts could not be staged twice over threats and before that a book launch for Khursheed Kasuri (the former Pakistani foreign secretary) was disturbed,” said Khan of the recent events in India last year.

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Khan said a 500-plus Pakistan contingent featuring in the South Asian Federation (SA) Games in Guwhati was different from a cricketing event.

“There are more chances of attacks on cricketers than on swimmers and players of other games.”

“If the decision is negative then maybe the ICC will say that our matches should be held on neutral venues in Sri Lanka or United Arab Emirates.”

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Naveed
    Feb 9, 2016 - 1:40AM

    Not only cricketers but pak artists should also avoid visiting IndiaRecommend

  • Woz ahmed
    Feb 9, 2016 - 2:07AM

    Pakistan should simply withdraw if we feel threatened.

    India and ICC will understand.Recommend

  • R.Subramanian
    Feb 9, 2016 - 2:12AM

    Why not Pakistan boycott the event entirely, it will be betterRecommend

  • sunny
    Feb 9, 2016 - 2:46AM

    Pakistan should not play T20 worldcup in India. India is a unsafe country for any type of public event. We Pakistani fans do not want our team to visit India.Recommend

  • marco
    Feb 9, 2016 - 3:25AM

    Mr.Khan, please keep up the drama and pretty soon you will leave trail of destruction. Your arguments are ridiculous and no one except domestic audience will be takers.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2016 - 3:27AM

    Security first !Recommend

  • Politically Incorrect
    Feb 9, 2016 - 4:26AM

    Nice try playing the victim card Mr. Khan. The world generally considers Pakistan as a dangerous country & Pakistanis as a threat & not a victim so there will be no takers of your lame attempt to paint India as an unsafe place. Please do everyone a favor & walk out of the world cup. I assure you, your team will not be missed. Recommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 9, 2016 - 5:20AM

    Pakistanis will come begging as there os no iron brother to save them here.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2016 - 5:56AM

    Can’t see Pakistan travelling to filthy India. Attack on out cricketers could lead to war. Should be avoided. Not the end of the world.Recommend

  • AK BOB
    Feb 9, 2016 - 6:21AM

    Get China to play cricket, I guess that will be the only savior for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Miraj
    Feb 9, 2016 - 6:26AM

    Pakistani Cricketers shouldn’t visit India out of self-respect. The three stooges at the helm of ICC are already breaking up, too, and India’s dominance is ending in Cricket. Recommend

  • ghazal
    Feb 9, 2016 - 6:58AM

    with Pakistanis not visiting, any country will feel safe. Pakistan should boycott the event for general goodRecommend

  • Spock
    Feb 9, 2016 - 7:11AM

    Mr SK , Wc is happening in India only with you or without you. Loss is yours.Recommend

  • Sri Varahadev
    Feb 9, 2016 - 7:12AM

    Will be delighted not to see Pakistanis roaming about in India and hence Pakistani’s may be assured of my support for a boycott of ICC T-20 World Cup in India. I however do not support waiver of ICC penalties for Pakistan’s boycott and will support financial penalties and ban on ICC members playing Pakistan that ICC will no doubt impose.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Feb 9, 2016 - 7:13AM

    What a relief. It will takes a lot I mean a lot of money to provide security to Pakistanis. If Pakistan could stay away that would be much appreciated. But Shahyar Khan will say something today and opposite tomorrow and the opposite again.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Feb 9, 2016 - 7:18AM

    Why would other countries go and play outside to empty stands? The money is in india and no country would follow Pakistan. Let shahyar try his shenanigans, as before he won’t be able to squeeze anything from what. And, what will happen if BCCI advise Pakistan to stay home.Recommend

  • SEAsian
    Feb 9, 2016 - 8:14AM

    Good move. I don’t think I want to see them play in India.Recommend

  • Akbar
    Feb 9, 2016 - 8:38AM

    Only money in this world matters. I won’t be surprised if the world goes ahead with the world without Pakistan. ICC is under control of India.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 9, 2016 - 8:44AM

    That is because of our own BCCI president Shashank Manohar who feels it is unfair on other teams. It is not breaking up because it has failed. It is breaking up so that there can be some balance restored in the cricket world. Read that article properly. Shashank Manohar WANTS to break it up.Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2016 - 9:00AM

    It’s a very dangerous and dicey situation. Pakistan can be outgunned by the Big-3 of the ICC and be fined or get boycotted.
    India’s leverage is the population and rising economic strength of the BCCI that attracts spectators/cricket lovers. So, very conveniently the ball is put in the GOP’s court. India’s inescapable duty is to contractually provide security to visiting teams of participating countries. Our duty is to play cricket as per our terms of the ICC membership. If India declines neutral avenues…then what? SalamsRecommend

  • rajesh
    Feb 9, 2016 - 9:09AM

    Drama, drama, drama…. Pakistanis are dying to come to India. All this for consumption of pakistani public. If Pakistan withdraws I will be the happiest person…. and nobody will miss them, just like IPL.Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2016 - 9:14AM

    @Politically Incorrect: your comment is pretty unbalanced and you should see the number of attacks on our artistes, cricketers and diplomats. no point in beating around the bush.
    This is a very popular sport and should be treated as such, which is difficult. The best is to play at neutral venues if the BCCI is sincere and remember there is a contract that needs to be HONORED. Have a nice day. Recommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 9, 2016 - 9:28AM

    A month ago Shahryar Khan was just dying to play cricket with India. Anywhere. Even in India. And now suddenly there is a security threat. He’s basically mad at BCCI for turning down his plea for a series and now he’s just exacting revenge.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Feb 9, 2016 - 9:39AM

    India is not a safe country for our players, we can’t risk our player lives,match at neutral venue is the only optionRecommend

  • Hassan
    Feb 9, 2016 - 9:51AM

    @R.Subramanian: Instead of taking corrective measures u came forward with anger to say boycott the entire event and u want us to participate without objecting the security conditions in India, see u have a problem inside india which needs to be corrected instead of giving us advice work to uplift ur security conditions, on one hand we have threats which r not merely threats but we have seen the samples earlier, u still want the world should not complaint as it brings bad name to India and silently visit India despite of the threats, we don’t care the good or bad name it may bring to India all we are worried is the security of our citizens and players. if u care so much for the name do something concrete.Recommend

  • Hari Om
    Feb 9, 2016 - 10:05AM

    Threat of boycotting T-20 World Cup tournament in India is typical empty bluster one has come to expect from Pakistan and the Pakistani threat will be summarily dismissed by India and ICC following which Pakistan will tuck her tail between their legs and play in India while piously claiming that the boycott threat was a misunderstanding of Pakistan’s intent.Recommend

  • Smiling Buddha
    Feb 9, 2016 - 10:07AM

    Mr.Shahryar khan is trying to play game by throwing a card of security issues. Mr.Sharyar khan doesnt know that he may have to pay huge price for his claims. Whole world will be laughing at his claim. Its better boycotting T20 world cup than playing filthy games.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Feb 9, 2016 - 10:11AM

    As if anyone gives a flying flock if Pakistan doesn’t come. Show money and Pakistanis will come dancing!Recommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 9, 2016 - 10:43AM

    What security threats? The whole world wants to come to India. Including Australia who are the first ones to chicken out under the slightest provocation. Don’t forget there’s a South Asian Games tournament going on in north east India which is a hotbed for Naxalite and ULFA activities. And yet the tournament is going smoothly. If you don’t want to come then it’s your loss, not ours. The world T20 would still go on. And you’re trying to project your “holier than thou” attitude when you say that the security of your citizens are of utmost importance. Heck!!! Everyone in the world can see through your dubious claims when you cannot even protect your own children in schools. Yes we all know how concerned you’re about the safety of your own citizens. I give it a month tops before Shahryar Khan comes begging on his knees again to play in the tournament.Recommend

  • zain
    Feb 9, 2016 - 10:54AM

    Indian invasion in comments. How much these guys hate pakistan. Pffff. I remember how india turned down series with pakistan even,at a neutral venue. Where do you get so much hate from? Fellow indians… Dont you have any humanity in you?Recommend

  • Asad
    Feb 9, 2016 - 11:19AM

    It think its a good idea to find a neutral venue to avoid any mishap which might put the life of our cricketer in jeopardy and not to forget the worsening of relationship that would lead to. Recommend

  • B. Sivaramakrishna
    Feb 9, 2016 - 11:32AM

    Why Pakistan as she frequently does has not issued threat by saying Pakistan s Sole Islamic Nuclear Weapon State and then demanded World Cup be transferred out of India altogether just as India was able to have Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) meeting transferred out of Pakistan by threatening a boycott?Recommend

  • Muhammad Asif
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:14PM

    @R.Subramanian: I think you desperately want to win, and it would be easy for you if Pakistan is not playing.Recommend

  • hari
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:15PM

    Well, it seems one more associate Nation is going to play WCT20.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:19PM

    Lol…it’s not PCB but ICC to decide the venue…
    and India is the boss of ICC…so you can’t do anything except crying n shouting on BCCI…. If you have the guts then please boycott India …show some self respectRecommend

  • Vicky
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:21PM

    PCB can’t do anything …it’s a statement for local consumption, but soon he’ll be running towards India….Recommend

  • Beggars can't be choosers
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:52PM

    But you have no other option Mr shehryarRecommend

  • Irfan
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:55PM

    India is not a safe country to visit, Security of players first , we should care about lives of our playersRecommend

  • whatever
    Feb 9, 2016 - 1:36PM

    Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t… Nice try S. Khan.Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Feb 9, 2016 - 2:08PM

    Indians won’t mind if Pakistan’s group matches are played outside India. But the venues for the Semi-finals and the Finals are already fixed in India and won’t be changed. Has Pakistan already lost all hopes of reaching the Semi-final stage?Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Feb 9, 2016 - 9:32PM

    If India is unsafe then why he and his wife hold indian visa? He should publicly destroy his visa and advice all other Pakistanis. Let see how many follow him. Let us start Indian Visa Wapsi just indians had award wapsi.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Feb 10, 2016 - 2:40AM

    Shahyar Khan’s pronouncements will affect pakistani players and any pakistani who wishes to visit dearly. As india is unsafe for Pakistanis, Pakistani team will be confined to hotel and no visas to Pakistanis due to security reason. Wonderful Mr. Shahyar Khan.Recommend

  • Sami Siddiqui
    Feb 10, 2016 - 8:22PM

    It’s time for Shaharyar Khan to #ShutUp on Pak vs India cricket and focus somewhere else to excel our cricketing standards. Enough is enough Shaharyar Khan why are you flooring yourself. If India don’t want to play and when our cricketers feel unsafe. it’s #insane to revive the cricketing ties. Let the world knows our #PeacefulStance. Just ignore them and march ahead with pride and rise to occasion where we better deserve to be!Recommend

  • Omar Sadiq
    Feb 10, 2016 - 8:30PM

    @AK BOB: And are you jealous that if indeed CHINA were to play cricket, it would support PAKISTAN and not India????Recommend

  • AK BOB
    Feb 11, 2016 - 8:46AM

    @Omar Sadiq:
    No not at all, not a China lover, though I admire their achievements. I was eleduing to the fact that it is high time Pakistan stopped using the China crutches :)Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2016 - 1:57PM

    ICC T20 World Cup 2016 matches should be held on neutral venues in Sri Lanka or United Arab Emirates.

  • Mar 14, 2016 - 9:19PM

    Well get ready for the IPL 9 soon after the T20 World Cup because there will be lot of fun and exciting games.Recommend

  • Mar 14, 2016 - 9:21PM

    Well I think all the ICC tournament should be played in Australia or England because they have very good stadiums. And the leagues like IPL should be played on neutral venues.Recommend

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