Pakistan Test captain says Shiv Sena’s violent protest was disappointing
Pakistan Test captain Misbah ul Haq has expressed his concerns about the country’s participation in the 2016 World Twenty20 following the recent anti-Pakistan protests in Mumbai by Shiv Sena.
The scheduled meeting between Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar and Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan on Monday to discuss the proposed India-Pakistan series was disrupted by a group of 50 workers from Hindu right-wing party Shiv Sena.
Shiv Sena stormed the BCCI headquarters and chanted anti-Pakistan slogans demanding the cancellation of the meeting and the proposed series.
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Following the protests, International Cricket Council (ICC) withdrew Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa, while Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar, who are in India as part of the StarSports commentary team, were also told to return after the fourth ODI in Chennai.
Misbah said he was disappointed with the political interference in sports.
“It is always disappointing,” he said in Dubai.
“It is not just about India-Pakistan; wherever it happens it is disappointing. I believe politics should be separated from sports. Otherwise it’s really difficult for all nations that are playing the game and we all should play each other.
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“When Australia didn’t tour Bangladesh recently that was disappointing as well.
“As cricketers we want to play against each other, and we don’t want any sort of politics involved in this sport.”
Shahryar said on his return from India that Pakistan will have to consider playing the World Twenty20 in India if the security situation remains the same and Misbah also echoed his concerns.
“These are the big concerns,” said Misbah, referring to the protests by Shiv Sena.
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“Obviously when these sorts of things happen, that really puts something in your mind. I don’t know what is going to happen but obviously these are the big concerns. You don’t want to restrict yourself not to play here and there. We really want to play everywhere and enjoy the game.”
This is not the first time Pakistan have expressed such concerns. The Pakistan women’s team was forced to play their 2013 World Cup group matches in Cuttack, following threats from political activists in Mumbai.