Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has assured foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team during the ICC World twenty20 tournament. Concerned with security arrangements in India, Pakistan have demanded security assurance before letting their teams fly out to India. (Sourav Ganguly Says Kolkata Ready to Host India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup Match)
On Wednesday, the ICC moved the marquee clash between India and Pakistan from Dharamsala to Kolkata. The decision came in the wake of a request from the Pakistan Cricket Board that was concerned with security in Dharamsala following protests by former Army personnel.
The West Bengal chief minister has written to Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly and asked him to inform the BCCI and the ICC that the state government will provide full security to the Pakistan team for the match at Eden Gardens.
“Government will lay out a green carpet,” sources told NDTV.
When a senior minister of the BJP government, who takes great interest in cricket, heard that the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressing his inability to host the match, he contacted a senior Trinamool MP to ask if Kolkata was ready to host it. Another venue under consideration was Cuttack.
“Ms Mamata Banerjee said ‘yes, straight away. Cuttack was dropped. Kolkata was finalized,” sources told NDTV.
(With inputs from Monideepa Banerjie)