New Delhi: The news confirming Pakistan cricket team's participation in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 has gripped Kolkata with cricket frenzy. After weeks of confusion, the Pakistan government on Friday cleared their national team' travel to India for the marquee event.
A delighted Sourav Ganguly then hailed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan for the successful resolution of the stand-off, which threatened to take shine of the tournament.
"I didn't expect the India-Pakistan game to go out of Kolkata and India with Mr Shaharyar Khan in-charge. I am very happy to see him in India. I've known him for so many years now. He is the right man to be at the helm of Pakistani cricket," Ganguly told India Today.
The March 19 match was moved out of Dharamsala to the Kolkata's Eden Gardens to avoid any untoward event during the proceedings. A PCB team also conducted a recce and found security arrangements in the hill city inadequate, which convinced the organisers of the tournament to move the match out of Dharamsala.
But, after prolonged parleys among various government agencies from both countries, the issue was finally resolved, thus paving the way for Pakistan's participation in the tournament.
And with that arrived unbound expectations from sporting and cricket crazy Kolkata residents.
"I hope he (Shaharyar) has given his team some good pep-talk because they have to be at the top of their game to beat a wonderful Indian team.
"We have seen some outstanding Pakistani teams in the past. Some of those teams were just unbelievable. It is already madness in Kolkata before they have arrived. It is the effect of some of the terrific Pakistani teams in the past," Ganguly added.