New Delhi, Jan 16: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has spoken on Pakistan hostility in his own way. Gujarat Cricket Association headed by Modi has refused to host the upcoming Women's Cricket World Cup involving Pakistani players.
The GCA was approached by the BCCI, who are skeptical about hosting the event in Mumbai due to Pakistani players' presence in the quadrennial extravaganza. Anticipating trouble due to Pakistani players' participation in the mega-event in Mumbai, the BCCI had sought ICC's help in taking a final call on whether to stick to the original venue or change it for the team from across the border.
"The BCCI had approached us asking whether Ahmedabad would be in a position to host the ICC Women's World Cup 2013. But we have refused to host the matches here following rising tension at the border," said GCA secretary Rajesh Patel.
"Whether to go ahead with the matches at the same venue or shift it to an alternate place will now be decided by the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India," he added.
The BCCI had approached GCA with a "verbal" proposal whether it could host the Women's World Cup in Ahmedabad. Rising tension at the LoC (Line of Control), after Pakistan's violation of the ceasefire, has led to protests by Shiv Sena in Mumbai against the Pakistani players' participation in the ongoing Hockey India League, prompting all the franchisees to send back their Pakistani recruits.
Yesterday, the Sena had castigated Modi for allowing the Pakistan cricket team to play a match at Rajkot. An editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Tuesday said that while the Gujarat government had turned away a 22-member Pakistani delegation which had come down to participate in the 'Vibrant Gujarat' summit due to India's strained relations with Pakistan, "a fortnight ago, the entire Pakistani cricket team was playing in Rajkot."
It seems the Sena has forced Modi's hand with such direct attack. Modi has been silent on Pakistan episode involving border firing even though many of his party leaders including Sushma Swaraj were blasting Pakistan.
The eight-team Women's World Cup is scheduled to be held in Mumbai between Jan 31 and Feb 17 but there are concerns that there might be protests, leading to trouble. Yesterday, the BCCI had decided that the best course of action would be to apprise the ICC of the security concerns that have been raised by the Mumbai Cricket Association. "Logistically, it would be tough to change the venue. But it is for the ICC to decide because they are the ones who picked the venue in the first place," an official had said. As per the schedule, Pakistan team is set to arrive in Mumbai on Jan 26.
(With PTI inputs)