At Last Green Light: Green Shirts to reach India tomorrow for WT20

WEB DESK: The government has allowed the national cricket team to visit India for participating in ICC T-20 World Cup after receiving the required security guarantee from India, said Chairman Executive Committee of Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi.

Pakistan teams will leave for Kolkata via Dubai, after a belated delay of nearly 72 hours , to compete in the men and women’s World Twenty20 tournaments in India after Pakistani officials received “Solid Security Assurances” from Indian authorites.

“All the preparations for the team’s departure are complete,” he said after meeting Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad today.

He said Indian Home Secretary, during his meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Abdul Basit, also guaranteed security measures in accordance with Pakistan demand.

“Basit has informed the Interior Minister about the meeting and he himself conveyed the communication of PCB with ICC and other stakeholders,” he added.

He said a statement of Indian Home Minister in a press conference to provide security to Pakistani team had already been reported.

Later addressing a news conference in Lahore, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan said the team would leave today night and reach Kolkata tomorrow evening.

He said the team could not be able to play the first warm-up match because of its late arrival there. However, the team would play its warm-up match with Sri Lanka.

“We want cricket to remain separate from politics. The issue of getting green light from both the governments has been resolved. India has given assurance for foolproof security,” he said.

Khan said if any player did not want to go, special replacement would be made in his place.

He said it was a good omen that Pakistan team had been assured security assurance and he was hopeful that Pak team would be welcomed in India the way it was welcome way back in 1999 during its tour to India.

“People on both sides want to see Pak team playing in India and now the time has come that our team will be playing there and people will be cheering them,” he said.

Spokesperson Ministry of Interior Friday said the decision has been taken that after assurances by the Indian
relevant officials including the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Police Chief of Kolkata and in particular the categorical assurance by the Indian Interior Secretary to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit.

Earlier, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had contacted Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia and also Chairman PCB Shahryar Khan on the issue, he said.