It is rare for a cricket team to cross the border between India and Pakistan. Political realities being what they are, relations between the countries are always frosty. Yet, the ICC having to shift the venue of an Indo-Pak match from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh to Kolkata in West Bengal on security concerns is an embarrassment. Surely, preparations for the 19 March encounter could have been handled better.
There was time enough. The HP government first said that it was not sure if it could provide adequate security for the visiting team. Later, it said it was in a position to assure the safety of all concerned. Whether this was a matter of a changed scenario or had something to do with politics was not clear. Predictably, as Open goes to press, Pakistan is yet to take a decision on sending its team over. While the security situation across the border hardly merits a comparison with what prevails here, one cannot deny that India has suffered a hit wicket. This needless controversy could easily have been avoided.