Shimla: Commenting on fresh controversy over the scheduled World T20 match between India and Pakistan in Dharamsala, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur yesterday said sports should be kept out of politics.
Thakur, who is also President of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), said he was ready to quit as HPCA president ,if it helped in the development of the state in any way.
"It is an international event and not a bilateral series and I will go to any extent to request anyone with folded hands in the interest of Himachal," he said while advising all stakeholders to rise above petty politics in the larger national interest.
"Even if the state is against HPCA, they should forget it for the time being. Court cases and inquiries are pending and I am ready to ready to step-down but please don¿t let Himachal suffer," Thakur pleaded.
He said when Assam can host 750 players from Pakistan during recently held South Asian games, then why not the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.
Impressing that providing security is the responsibility of state government, Thakur asked "are we not capable to provide security to 15 players from Pakistan?"
He said that large number of people had invested in booking air tickets, rail tickets, taxis and hotels and cancellation of match between India and Pakistan would create trouble and would be a setback for them.
Cautioning that the cancellation of the match would also attract ire of ICC which cold impose ban on Himachal Pradesh to host international matches for long duration.
He said that those opposing match today were at the forefront in receiving and welcoming Pakistan team in 2005 after Kargil war.
Hosting of match would help in promoting the state as it would be telecast live in 220 countries.