New Delhi: Hours after getting the much-needed clearance from the Pakistan government to participate in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan on Friday revealed that players were given option to pull out of the tournament.
Pakistan's participation in the marquee event was under the cloud with PCB admitting to security concerns following objections from various groups to the hosting of 2009 champions in India. The situation had become a full-blown diplomatic tussle between the neighbouring countries.
"I told them if any of them had any reservations they should inform me or the manager Intikhab Alam. My point was that if any player felt he would not able to focus on cricket in India in given circumstances he can withdraw from the squad," Shaharyar told a news conference in Lahore.
In fact, the venue of high-profile India-Pakistan group match on March 19, which was originally scheduled to be played at Dharamsala, was forced to move to Kolkata to avoid any untoward incident.
He added that none of the players accepted this option and all of them made it clear they wanted to go to India to play in the World T20.
"I am very happy that the team is going to India and although there might be some minor incidents but we are sure the security of our team will be top notch," he said.
Pakistan will arrive in Kolkata via Dubai tonight. Their first warm-up match against Bengal Ranji team has been cancelled due to the delay in clearance.
However, Pakistan will play their warm-up match against Sri Lanka as scheduled on Sunday.