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Pakistan says no withdrawal from World Twenty20 in India


Karachi:Pakistan on Thursday gave permission to the country’s cricket team to play next month’s World Twenty20 in India after fears they might withdraw due to alleged security threats.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan earlier this month raised doubts over the team’s participation, saying there were specific threats from Hindu activists who forced the cancellation of a meeting between cricket officials from both countries in Mumbai last October.

Rightwing Hindu activists also forced the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Mumbai and Pune last year and disrupted a book launch event by former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.

But the PCB announced Thursday it had received the green light after seeking extra security measures.

“I am pleased that our government has given its consent for our team to visit India,” said Khan.

“As a duty of care, we have asked ICC to put in place special arrangements for the Pakistan cricket team while in India.

“We will also be expecting visa facilitation and other arrangements for the Pakistani fans wishing to visit India for the ICC World T20.”

The sixth edition of the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Twenty20 will be held in India from March 8 to April 3.

Pakistan will play its first match against a qualifier team in Kolkata on March 16, before taking on arch-rivals India in a high-profile game in Dharamsala three days later.

They also play New Zealand (March 22) and Australia (March 25) in the first round.

Agence France-Presse

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