© Getty Images
© Getty Images

The most enthralling encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 (T20) 2016 between arch-rivals  India and Pakistan took another turn as the latter have requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a change of venue for the iconic India-Pakistan game on March 19. FIA DG Usman Anwar led three-member security delegation was in India to witness and check the security arrangements for the iconic clash. It seems that the team was not convinced with the type of arrangement Dharamsala has rendered along with other factors being a huge matter of concern. CricketCountry has learned that due to the political tensions looming in Dharamsala, Pakistan were compelled to request a different venue for the most awaited game of the tournament. READ:India vs Pakistan, ICC T20 World Cup 2016: HP CM denies asking centre government for more security

The local residents of Dharamsala hosted an objection against Pakistan on Tuesday and that has not gone unobserved. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh had said that all teams are invited to play in the beautiful state other than Pakistan and no security will be provided to them. READ: ICC World T20 2016: Anurag Thakur slammed by Himachal Congress for ‘double speak’

The game between arch-rivals India and Pakistan is one of the biggest in the tournament, as almost half of the revenue of the whole tournament is anticipated to be generated form this game alone. It is estimated that the game would garner over $20 million keeping in mind sponsors and broadcasting rights. It is also believed that the alternative venue could be Mohali or Kolkata instead of Dharamsala.

A senior PCB official was quoted in a report from The Express Tribune saying, “While security arrangements in Dharamsala are fine, the political tension in the region is a serious concern for the Pakistan team. Obviously, we can’t take any risk with the players, and the board has already requested the International Cricket Council to look for an alternate option. Pakistan and India can play in Kolkata, Bangalore or Mohali; so there are a couple of options available.”

At present, both the teams – men’s and women’s teams are hung up till the security report is submitted by the delegation, which will decide whether the teams will fly to Dharamsala or not. Though there is a probability that both the teams might fly on Wednesday ance the report is sent as the PCB won’t look to skip the entire tournament on security grounds.

The official further added, “The PCB has particular concerns and the practical approach would be taken. We’ll wait for the government’s signal once the security report is submitted. We’re certain that the green signal would be given to us and we’ll participate in the World T20.”

The person also revealed that Pakistan won’t be facing such protest in other parts of the country. He said, “The only concern is to avoid places where there is a strong anti-Pakistan sentiment. There are places where Pakistanis are loved and welcomed, and the ICC should opt for those venues. We hope sanity prevails and the ICC looks for alternatives, otherwise we’ll have to rethink about playing our match against India in Dharamsala. There are different options available to us and we’re mulling over them.”