Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought renewed security measures for its women's team when it participates in the ICC World Cup in Mumbai from January 25. The PCB on Tuesday wrote a letter to the ICC asking it to shift matches of the Pakistan team to some other venue if the cricket's governing body feels that the step is necessary in view of security issues.
"Naturally, we are concerned with the security of our players after the unfortunate incident involving our hockey players in Mumbai," said PCB official Nadeem Sarwar. "We have written to the ICC and requested them to review all the security arrangements for our players for the World Cup. We just want to be sure about the safety of our players when they play in the World Cup. This (relocate matches of the Pakistan team) is entirely up to the ICC and organisers but we have given them this option," Sarwar added.
The simmering tension on the Indo-Pak border on Tuesday spilled over to the sporting arena with a rattled Hockey India deciding to send back all the nine Pakistani players taking part in its high-profile league following protests over the killing of Indian soldiers.
After protests by Shiv Sena and other right-wing organisations disrupted the Mumbai Magicians training and the first match of the league, Hockey India took the decision to send back the Pakistani players. HI had initially decided to send back the Pakistani players of Mumbai franchise only but fearing that the league could be affected by disruptions, it took the decision to send back all the players.
The league ran into rough weather after the killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army on January 8 in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Sarwar, however, dismissed speculation that the PCB was thinking of pulling out its team from the World Cup.
"Nothing on those lines has been discussed as yet. We are confident the ICC can handle the situation," he said. The bilateral relations between the two cricket boards improved recently when the Pakistan team toured India for a successful one-day series. But the team did not play any matches in Mumbai, the stronghold of Shiv Sena.
No Pakistan cricket or hockey teams have played in Mumbai for years now although they have visited India for bilateral and international events and played at other venues without any problem.