ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan, Pakistani cricket legend and the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has advised the Pakistani cricket team against playing in the forthcoming ICC World T20 because of "hateful" comments by the Himachal Pradesh chief minister.
Imran Khan believed that the representatives of the Indian government are promoting tension and hate between the neighbouring countries.
"The statement by the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister is an irresponsible one and is totally against the standards of hospitality and hosting”, Khan said.
Pakistan are scheduled to play arch-rivals India at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association ground in Dharamsala in their second World T20 fixture on March 19.
The government of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh refused to provide security for the upcoming World T20 tie, citing a January attack on an Indian army base.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said last Sunday that the match should be moved to another venue out of respect for the "martyrs" killed in the assault by Pakistani militants on an Indian air force base in neighbouring Punjab.
"We are not willing to provide security for the match," a senior state government official told Indian on condition of anonymity.
"It's just one match that we are bothered about because it involves Pakistan and our decision reflects the sentiments of the people of Himachal."
Indian cricket board secretary Anurag Thakur accused the state of playing politics and said the country regularly provided security for Pakistani sportsmen and women.
"The venues of the World Cup matches were decided one year ago, the allotment of matches was decided six months ago," said Thakur.
"By claiming that you cannot provide security, you are only giving credence to Pakistani claims that there is a security threat to their team in India. It's about the country's image."