In the wake of Shiv Sena’s attack on BCCI headquarters, Pakistan’s former pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram have been asked to go back to Pakistan before the fifth ODI between India and South Africa owing to a looming security threat.
Akram’s agent Arsalan Haider confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the pair would commentate on the fourth ODI in Chennai and return on October 23, two days before the Mumbai ODI.
Akram and Akhtar were commentating in the ongoing India and South Africa ODI series. The development follows ICC’s withdrawal of Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from officiating in the fifth match, which is scheduled for Mumbai, of the on-going India versus South Africa series following threats from Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Rajiv Shukla held a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan, Express News reported. However, Shukla clarified that cricket was not discussed during the meeting.
“No issues related to cricket were discussed during our meeting,” Shukla said, while speaking to the media after the meeting.
The PCB chairman met the IPL commissioner and ICC officials in New Delhi, a day after workers of Hindu right-wing party Shiv Sena stormed the Mumbai office of the BCCI in India. Head of the PCB’s executive committee Najam Sethi also accompanied the PCB chief.
Shahryar and Sethi had arrived in India on Sunday to hold talks with BCCI in a bid to finalise the India-Pakistan cricket series in December. However, Shiv Sena activists crashed through the gates of the office in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium chanting anti-Pakistan slogans and demanding Shahryar and Sethi’s immediate return.
Shiv Sena, which is a junior partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra state, has in recent weeks threatened and cancelled Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert. Last week, its members attacked the organiser of an event for former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.