India-Pakistan World T20 tie likely to be shifted to Kolkata

Kolkata: With Pakistan refusing to play in Dharamsala, the Eden Gardens ground in the city is likely to host the high voltage Twenty 20 World Cup encounter on March 19.

Neither the International Cricket Council (ICC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have confirmed the report but according to a BCCI official, Eden is the frontrunner to get the game when it is rescheduled.

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On Tuesday night, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had held back their team from travelling to India following security concerns over the game in Dharamsala.

“Yes Eden Gardens is likely to host the India-Pakistan match on the 19th. One of the reason’s being Eden has not got any match with India playing in it and then Pakistan will be staying in Kolkata. So Eden can be a likely venue,” a BCCI official told IANS.

Two days back, the top brass of Kolkata Police had confirmed that they will be able to provide the necessary security to all the teams staying here.

“For every team we will be able to provide the security needed,” Deputy Commissioner headquarters Suprotim Sarkar had said.

Even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier showed keen interest to host BCCI’s meeting with PCB after their proposed talk in Mumbai faced protests from Shiv Sena activists.

As per the ICC schedule, Pakistan will be flying into the city on Wednesday night where they will play two warm-up games (against Bengal on March 12 and Sri Lanka on March 14) and one in the main round against a “yet to be decided” opponent on March 16.

They were to leave for Dharamsala on March 17, but if the match is shifted to Eden Gardens the team will stay back.