Women's world cup: Odisha to host Pakistan women team
The BCCI has shifted the group B matches of the women's cricket world cup out of Mumbai to Cuttack in Odisha fearing the protests by Shiv Sena activists. Pakistan, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are the other teams in the group B.
It is due to these activists that the Pakistani players in the Hockey India League had to return back even before the start of the HIL. The Shiv Sena activists are furious with the recent killing of Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control, hence their protests.
Tensions between India and Pakistan is growing gradually after the killing, as the Indian Army and the government wants answers from Pakistan. History has suggested that whenever such kind of incidents take place which includes Pakistan, the Shiv Sainiks are the first ones to protest about it. It takes tension to another level. This shifting of venues is testimonial to the fact.
But after the shifting the venues to Cuttack, Bajrang Dal has also raised some voices against the move. They have made it clear that the Pakistan players would not be allowed to play in Odisha. So, the problem is becoming a huge challenge with two political outfits in an aggressive state of mind. The competition is scheduled to start from January 28 to February 17 2013.
The security around the state has to be multiplied in order to stop the anti-elements from entering the city. It has been reported that women workers of Kalinga Sena, a regional political party, would be present in the airport to stop the Pakistani players landing in Odisha. It is a political matter as well, so the state government needs to co-operate with the Odisha Cricket Association and provide them with all facilities to allow the matches take place in a peaceful manner. On January 22, BCCI officials are expected to meet the Odisha Cricket Association members and the state government. These three bodies need to work very closely in order to maintain peace.
Still, there is no guarantee that the Shiv Sena activists would not protest in Odisha against the Pakistan team even after shifting the matches out of Mumbai. They are not happy with the fact that India is hosting Pakistan even after the LOC incident. Many claim that the activists operate primarily from Mumbai, but one has to recollect that days of 1999, where they damaged the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, even India was supposed to play Pakistan. Another incident was the destruction of the Wankhede stadium pitch in Bombay, now Mumbai. Will the activists do something like this in Odisha as well?