New Delhi: The east Indian city of Cuttack has been chosen as the second venue after Mumbai to host the ICC Women’s World Cup starting January 31, CNN-IBN has learnt. The decision has been taken following strong anti-Pakistan sentiments across the country following the killing of two Indian soldiers at the LOC earlier this month.
The Pakistan women’s team is placed in Group B along with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and scheduled to play their first match against Australia on January 31. With the tournament organizers deciding to shift all Group B matches to Cuttack, Pakistan will play all their matches there, even if they qualify for the knock-out stage. Sources also told CNN-IBN that visas have been granted to the entire Pakistan women’s team and support staff.
Earlier this week, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) had written to ICC suggesting a change of venue for the tournament originally scheduled to be held entirely in Mumbai across four stadiums. As reported by CNN-IBN, the BCCI addressed the issue of security with cricket’s ruling body after protests on Tuesday by Shiv Sainiks and Hindu Yuwak Sabha members outside Mumbai's Churchgate Stadium, where the Hockey India League (HIL) team Mumbai Magicians team, which had four Pakistan players in it, was practicing.
Relations between the two countries became tense after two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistan army at the LOC earlier this month. This week the nine Pakistan players in the inaugural HIL were sent back.
The Women’s World Cup runs from January 31 to February 17.