By Shahid Hashmi
The Asian Cricket Council Saturday relocated the Asian Under-19 to Malaysia after Pakistan raised security concerns over sending their team to India.
The decision was taken at the ACC meeting held in Colombo which was chaired by Pakistan Cricket Board’s newly appointed chairman Najam Sethi. Sethi has replaced Shaharyar Khan as both PCB and ACC heads.
“The matter of shifting the tournament to Malaysia was amicably agreed by all the participants in the development and executive committee since no one wanted it to be marred by security considerations of any member,” Sethi said from Colombo.
India was due to host the U-19 Asia Cup in November this year.
PCB had said they fear extremists’ reaction if Pakistan team played any match in India because of the current political tensions.
That have prevented the neighbours from playing a bilateral series since 2007, apart from Pakistan’s tour to India in 2012-13 when they played a short limited-overs series.
Since then, sporting events have been marred by perennial tensions between the arch-rivals.
In 2013, officials were forced to move Women’s World Cup matches from Mumbai to Cuttack over security fears and protests over Pakistan’s participation.
The same year, Pakistan athletes were expelled from a hockey league following protests.
Pakistan blamed a delay in visas for their non-participation in the Junior World Cup in India in 2016, while earlier this year their squash players had to opt out of an event in India due to visa glitches.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has also initiated legal action against India for not honouring a deal under which the two countries were set to play six senior series between 2014-2023, pending clearance from New Delhi.
The first of those series failed to materialise in 2015 and the second, due in November-December this year, has also been axed.
The Pakistan Cricket Board last week said it has allocated one million rupees rupees (one million dollars) for the legal battle.
“The case will soon be filed with the International Cricket Council dispute committee,” said Shaharyar Khan, who completed his three-year tenure as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, last week.