After Shanta Kumar’s letter to PM, Himachal Congress asks BCCI to either cancel the India-Pakistan T-20 WC match at Dharamsala or shift the venue

Himachal Pradesh Congress on Sunday asked the BCCI to either cancel the proposed India-Pakistan T-20 World Cup match slated for March 19 at Dharamsala or shift the venue.

According to a report in The Times of India, the executive of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee also criticised the Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and BJP MP Anurag Thakur for the decision to hold the match in Dharamsala. "BCCI should either cancel or shift the match to other state to honour the sentiments of families of martyrs," HPCC president Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said.

According to a report in The Deccan Chronicle, Sukkhu also demanded that 50 per cent income from eight other matches to be played at the same venue be disbursed among the kins of those who laid down their lives in successive wars against Pakistan or during anti-terror operations. He said Kangra is home to a large number of soldiers, including Kargil War heroes like Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Saurabh Kalia and a war memorial is located close to Dharamsala stadium.

"Our party is not against holding other World Cup matches but only opposing the one against Pakistan as it would hurt the sentiments of the people, especially the families of martyrs," he said.

Earlier, veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the PM to call off the T20 India-Pak match scheduled at Dharamsala on March 19. “It will be difficult for the families of the martyrs and people of Himachal to see Pakistani flag fluttering at the stadium, which is at a stone’s throw from the War Memorial. The state government too is against the match. I urge you to call off the match as the safety of Pakistani supporters could be at risk,” he wrote.