The words India, Pakistan and Cricket when put together can never be far from controversy. This time around things have been no different.
To begin with Pakistan's matches for the ICC Women's World Cup were shifted out of Mumbai (venue to all the other matches) after the Shiv Sena, a right-wing nationalist political party, threatened to disrupt the games. Cuttack's Barabati stadium was onboarded as a venue for all Pakistan's fixtures, less than a week ahead of the tournament.
As the Pakistan Women's Cricket Team arrived in India, news broke out on Tuesday morning that the side would be staying in the stadium premises instead of a hotel for security reasons. The move left several sections of the media and multitudes of users on Twitter (from both India and Pakistan) aghast. Cue outrage.
Turns out the decision to have the team stay at Barabati stadium's club house was
taken by the ICC and statements from the team's media manager indicated
that the side had no complaints. Moreover, facilities at the stadium and club house were reported to be top notch. CNN-IBN Sports Editor Gaurav Kalra posted some pictures of the set up.
Shifting Pakistan's matches out of Mumbai on the basis of a radical political party's threat, was without doubt a poor reflection on India's security and secular fabric. What's ironic is that many of the same voices incensed by ICC's decision to have the Pakistan team stay at the stadium are the same ones that have been heard glorifying leaders from the same political party. Double standards?