LAHORE: Disheartened Pakistan from the cancellation of Indo-Pak cricket series refused to participate in Blind Asia Cricket Tournament being held in India.
The decision came after the atrocious act of Hindu extremist party Shiv Sena against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) delegation’s visit to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office in Mumbai.
Earlier, the scheduled cricket series between Pakistan and India in December seemed highly unlikely after BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said that conditions have to improve to hold talks and only then a bilateral series could be a possibility.
“A proposed cricket series between India and Pakistan in December will not be held now”, Indian media reported.
Also, there will be no official meeting between the two cricket board chiefs till October 25.
The talks were rescheduled and venue of the meeting was changed from Mumbai to New Delhi a day after dozens of Shiv Sena fanatics stormed the headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans. They demanded that BCCI president Shashank Manohar cancel talks with PCB chief.
Pakistan are due to host India for a full tour in the United Arab Emirates in December one of six series the arch-rivals agreed to play between 2015 and 2023 under an agreement signed last year pending New Delhi’s clearance.
Soon after the attack on BCCI office in Mumbai, the International Cricket Council (ICC) also withdrew Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the remainder of a limited-overs series between India and South Africa after Shiv Sena extremists threatened to prevent him from officiating in the last game.
Citing security reasons, former Pakistani cricketers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar, too, decided against commentating in the fifth one-day match, which will take place in Mumbai. They have decided to return to Pakistan on Friday, a day after the fourth ODI in Chennai.
The ICC decision also put an immediate question mark on India’s ability to safely host the World T20 event next year.
Relations between Pakistan and India have been strained, with continued border ceasefire violations from both sides, leading to the cancellation of a meeting between their security advisers in August.
Monday’s protest came a week after Shiv Sena activists threw ink over the organiser of the launch in Mumbai of a book by former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.
The Shiv Sena, a junior partner in a ruling coalition with the BJP in the Maharashtra state government, opposes any dealings with Pakistan.
Shiva Sena earlier this month threatened to force the cancellation of an appearance in Mumbai by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali.