Announcing that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not scared of threats from the Shiv Sena, PCB chief Zaka Ashraf has advised party chief Bal Thackeray to renounce extremism and move forward with positive thinking.
Ashraf said that the Indian government had given clearance to the Pakistan cricket team and that both the countries will have to look for each other''s benefits, reports The Express Tribune.
Thackeray had earlier termed the invitation extended to Pakistan''s cricket team by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as a matter of "national shame".
"The Pakistan team will be playing matches at Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. At one point or the other, Pak terrorists have attacked these cities. The feet of Pakistani players won''t touch Maharashtra but their tour of these cities is a matter of national shame," Thackeray had said.
Thackeray said it would be an insult to those who had lost their lives in the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. He also accused the BCCI of "betraying the country for sake of money" and Indian cricketers of being part of that betrayal. Meanwhile, the Indian government has assured three-tier security for the Pakistani players.
However, analysts feel that the threats, although branded as ''harmless'' by the BCCI, might put the return of Pakistan cricketers in the billion-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) in jeopardy.
The improving ties between the Pakistan and India cricket boards, which resulted in the confirmation of a short series between the archrivals in December, also made the possibility of Pakistan players featuring in the IPL ''higher than ever''. The last time Pakistan cricketers took part in the IPL was in 2008.