BCCI leaves venue issue to ICC

New Delhi, Jan. 16 -- It's not just hockey which has taken a serious hit as a result of protests by the right-wing parties in India over the participation of Pakistan players. Equally strong repercussions are expected in cricket. It has put in doubt the Pakistan team's participation in the ICC Women's World Cup to be hosted in Mumbai and extinguished hopes of their men cricketers of participating in the IPL.

The International Cricket Council is yet to take an official decision but it is widely expected that Women's World Cup, scheduled to be organised in Mumbai between Jan 31 and Feb 17, will be played without the Pakistan team.

A Board member explained that the time is too short to shift the World Cup to another country and shifting the Pakistan team's matches to any other city didn't solve security concern.

The official word from the BCCI on Tuesday was that they had left the ball in International Cricket Council's (ICC) court to take a final call on shifting the venue. "The ICC has been informed about the situation. It will take a final call regarding shifting of the venue," said BCCI president N Srinivasan.

However, the Board members feel practically it's impossible to assure security of a team for 15 days against a big protesting mob. According to the previous schedule, the Pakistan women's team is supposed to reach Mumbai on Jan 26 and play league games at the MCA-Bandra Kurla complex. "Logistically, it would be difficult to change the venues at this stage. But the ICC now have to take a call as they had picked the venue," said a committee member.

No Pak players in IPL?

The continuing protests over the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan troops along the border in J&K on January 8, has also ended the chances of the Pakistan cricketers participation in the IPL. When asked, a working committee member quipped: "In the current scenario which franchisee will be so foolish as to invest in the Pakistan players." The committee decided that the IPL auction ahead of sixth edition would be held at Chennai on Feb 3.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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