Kochi: Expressing concern over Pakistan's decision to pull out from the Asia Cup for blind cricketers to be held here in January, Cricket Association for Blind in Kerala said it was hopeful that the neighbouring nation would still take part in the event and government would ensure their safety.
"We are worried about the decision. But still we are hopeful that they would think over it and send their team," vice-president of the Cricket Association for Blind in India Rajanish Henry told PTI.
"We are certain that they would be ensured complete safety and security by the state and central governments to play cricket in Kochi," he said.
Henry, who is also General Secretary of Cricket Association for Blind in Kerala, said the Kerala Board has received an email from Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC), informing its decision to pull out from the tournament.
The mail, sent by PBCC's GM Administration, Cricket Operations, International Affairs, Maher M Yousaf Haroon stated that the preparation and team was shortlisted for the event, "but the current unrest scenario in India all of a sudden changed the circumstances".
"Shiv Sena's attack on Board of Control of Cricket in India headquarters, causing cancellation of PCB Chairman's meeting with BCCI President, threatening Aleem Dar from officiating the last two India-South Africa series matches and decision of ICC to send him back on security concerns compels us to consider the matter of Pakistan's team security seriously," the mail said.
It said that the PBCC management, after long discussion with different stakeholders and taking into consideration the security concerns, "with a heavy heart decided to pull out the Pakistan team from the Asia Cup".
"We have never thought of pulling out, but the circumstances are not in our control and it doesn't look like that situation will improve in near future," the mail, a copy of which was made available to PTI, said.
"We are disappointed to pull out but have no other option left. We are confident that circumstances will get better and we restore the blind cricket with each other," it said.