ICC Women's World Cup 2013: Political party protests against Pakistan team's matches at Odisha

Odisha agreed to host Pakistan’s matches after tensions in Mumbai forced the change of venue © AFP

Bhubaneswar: Jan 20, 2013

Strongly opposing the hosting of Pakistan women team’s World Cup matches at Cuttack, a fringe political party organised protest demonstration at Bhubaneswar on Sunday while leaders of the ruling BJD differed on allowing the matches to be played in Odisha.

Slogan-shouting activists of Yuva Utkal Bharat Party went for a procession in the state capital and organised protest demonstration.

Activists of ABVP, who had threated to dig up pitches before the matches, had also protested at the pilgrim town of Puri on Saturday.

Meanwhile, differences of opinion surfaced in the ruling BJD on the issue. While local MP Bhartruhari Mahtab had opposed the move for Pakistani players to set foot on Odisha soil, local MLA Debasis Samantray welcomed the decision to host the matches of the mega event.

Supporting the visit of Pakistan players, Rajya Sabha MP and leader of Odisha Jana Morcha Pyari Mohan Mohapatra said that the issue should not be politicised.

Opposition to hosting the matches virtually gained momentum with a number of organisations including Bajrang Dal opposing the women cricketers from the neighbouring country playing in the state.