International Cricket Council On Wednesday shifts India-Pakistan encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 on March 19 from Dharamsala to iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
"India-Pakistan match will take place in Kolkata, Eden Gardens on the same date and time," says ICC Chief Executive Officer Dave Richardson while addressing the media in Bengaluru.
In a late night development yesterday, the Pakistan cricket Board had put its team departure to India on hold following security concerns for the marquee match originally scheduled to be played in Dharamsala.
"Logistically, and from the security point of view, Kolkata is the ideal place for the match as they would not have to travel to Dharamshala... It's feasible from broadcasting point of view as they would not have to the cost for taking the expensive broadcasting kit to another venue," a BCCI official told PTI.
The West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee in the past too had shown keen interest to host BCCI's meeting with PCB after their proposed talk in Mumbai faced protest from Shiv Sena activists. As per the ICC itinerary, Pakistani team are slated to camp in Kolkata where they will play two warm-up games (against Bengal, March 12 and Sri Lanka, March 14) and one in the main round against Group A qualifier March 16.
As per the schedule, Pakistan were to arrive late evening today and fly out to Dharamsala on March 17 but if the match is shifted they will remain here till March 20 before heading to Mohali where they face New Zealand March 22.
After a recce of Dharamsala, the PCB were reluctant to play there citing security concerns.
"The Himachal Pradesh chief minister has not committed full security for the match and the Indian government has also not come up with any assuring statement... Under the prevailing circumstances how can we allow our team to play there?" PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said yesterday.