Kolkata Optional Venue if Dharamsala Refuses to Host India vs Pakistan World Twenty20 Match
Dharamsala's loss could be Kolkata's gain as the stalemate over the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association hosting the ICC World T20 match between India and Pakistan on March 19 continued on Thursday. Sources told NDTV that Eden Gardens was shortlisted as an optional venue for the high-voltage clash. (World Twenty20: Board of Control for Cricket in India in a Fix As Himachal Pradesh Doesn't Want to Host India-Pakistan Game)
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister VIrbhadra Singh of the Congress has written to the union home ministry suggesting that the match be shifted out of Dharamsala as his government cannot provide the kind of security an India-Pakistan match requires. (World Twenty20: Don't Play Against India in Dharamsala, Ehsan Mani Tells Pakistan Cricket Board)
The Centre, sources said, on Thursday refused to intervene as security is a a state matter. This has increased doubts on whether Dharamsala will finally host the match.
Pakistan are also worried about security of their team. On Wednesday, former ICC president Ehsan Mani of Pakistan, said the national team must not play in Dharamsala.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur, a BJP lawmaker who is also the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, has said it is impossible to change Dharamsala as a venue at the "last moment".
India and Pakistan, on February 24, played in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. India won the T20 match by 45 runs.