India on Friday demanded “robust” security for its players and fans at this year’s cricket World Cup in England, but pulled back from a boycott of its match against Pakistan despite escalating tensions.
Calls have been made in India for the country to pull out of their June 16 World Cup match against Pakistan to protest the attack in occupied Kashmir last week which killed 40 paramilitary troops.
Vinod Rai, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told reporters they had sent a letter to the International Cricket Council demanding tough security at the World Cup and for the world body to sever ties with nations linked to terrorism.
But he said a decision on boycotting the one-day international would only be made nearer the date — and after consulting the government.
“The BCCI trusts… the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup,” the letter said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday assured the BCCI that if need arises, it will “uplift the security based on advice of relevant agencies” to address India’s concerns during the upcoming World Cup the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
At the start of the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri expressed India’s concerns about the security of its players in the mega event which is scheduled to start May 30.
“On behalf of the BCCI, Rahul Johri raised concerns for the safety and security of the Indian team, match officials and the Indian Fans, at the CEC Meeting,” a senior BCCI official, privy to the development, told PTI.
It is learnt that Johri told the CEC that the BCCI believes in the security being planned by the ICC and the England Cricket Board.
“The ICC CEO David Richardson and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison underlined that security is an absolute priority and all necessary steps will be taken including an uplift in security, if that is needed based on the advice of the security authorities in the UK. Richardson assured Johri that ICC share excellent rapport with security and police authorities in the UK,” the BCCI official further said.
The discussion on security wasn’t a part of the original agenda but on BCCI’s insistence, it has been “minuted” by the global body.
The BCCI was apprised that the global body is evaluating “risk assessment” as has been the norm for all global events.
Pakistan ready to counter India at ICC quarterly meet, says PCB official
“Pakistan’s stance is that if India wants to give a walkover, it can’t do anything about it. But it will pose a question as to what happens if both countries again qualify to meet each other in the knockout stages,” a PCB official said.