Jammu/ New Delhi: Fresh dates should be fixed for a cricket match in Srinagar that was cancelled after the Services' team withdrew on grounds of security, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday.
He said that the apology offered by the Services team, which represents the armed forces, to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), should be accepted.
Chidambaram, who is on a daylong visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said he had spoken to Defence Minister A K Antony after he learnt about the Services' team backing out of Tuesday's Ranji Trophy match in Srinagar.
"Services have offered apology and I think this should be accepted and fresh dates should be picked up for the match," he said.
The BCCI has already thrown out the Services team from this year's Ranji Trophy championships.
In New Delhi, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the "unfortunate" decision to forfeit the math was taken at a "lower level".
"That was an unfortunate decision which happened at lower level.... Each organisation, country has to take decision based on threat perception and then they decide whether they want to play or not. That organisation (Services' Sports Board) exercised the same right," said Raju.
Seeking to downplay the decision by the team, representing the armed forces, Raju refused to say if anybody would be held accountable for it.
The Ranji match was scheduled to start Tuesday at the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. The stadium has hosted two one-day internationals - India vs West Indies in 1983 and India vs Australia in 1986. The last Ranji match in Srinagar was held in 2004 between Jammu and Kashmir and Orissa.
"If the Ranji committee gives us an opportunity we are willing to send our team," Raju said, responding to a question on why 11 servicemen don't feel safe enough to play cricket in Jammu and Kashmir when there are nearly 400,000 troops posted in the state.