The International Cricket Council on Wednesday announced that the India-Pakistan group match of the World Twenty20 tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Dharamsala on March 19, has been moved to Kolkata. The ICC said the decision was taken "for security reasons" after consulting the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the relevant state associations, and other authorities.
This comes a day after MV Sridhar, the tournament's director, said he was "more than hopeful" of the match going ahead at Dharamsala as scheduled. The ICC's formal announcement ends weeks of speculation surrounding the venue of the high-profile match, which started after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said he was opposed to Dharamsala hosting the game.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has threatened to pull out of the tournament altogether, unless the Indian government provides a public assurance of security. The board also reportedly stopped the team from travelling to India at the last moment, before sending a delegation to assess the security arrangements. According to reports, the delegation was not satisfied with the security arrangements at Dharamsala.