The Pakistan Cricket Board has threatened to pull out of the upcoming World Twenty20 tournament scheduled to be held in India if the Indian government does not publicly assure the safety of its players. PCB chairman Shahryar Khan said in a press conference, "We have told the ICC that there is only one step that the Indian government needs to take and that is to issue a public statement that they are ready to welcome Pakistan and ensure full security for our team, which hasn't come as yet." He added that if the Indian government does not issue a public statement, it would be "very difficult to go to India". Khan said there is a possibility of Pakistan pulling out even at the eleventh hour as there is no deadline for taking the decision to participate.
This comes three days after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said Dharamsala should not host the India-Pakistan group match scheduled for March 19. Singh told the media that given the "attitude of Pakistan towards India" and the soldiers in Himachal Pradesh who have lost their lives because of recent terror attacks, the match should be played elsewhere. However, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Thursday said he had met Singh and was hopeful of the match going ahead. This isn't the first time Pakistan's participation in the tournament has been in doubt. The country's government had given the cricket team the green signal to travel to India only on February 25, after weeks of uncertainty.