London, February 20 (ESPNCricinfo): Outgoing International Cricket Council Chief (ICC) Dave Richardson on Tuesday said the cricket’s governing body has no reasons to make any changes to the proposed World Cup schedule and that all matches will be played as scheduled.
“No indications have been sent from either board about the World Cup clash not taking place,” Richardson toldESPNcricinfoin London, where he was present to mark the 100-day countdown to the tournament. “We haven’t written to the boards as yet,”
“Our thoughts are with the people that were impacted by the incident. And we are monitoring the situation with our members including the BCCI and PCB. Certainly, there are no indications any of the matches, including the Pakistan-India match, will not be played as planned at the World Cup. But as I say we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Richardson statement comes a day after Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh had urged for the World Cup fixture between the countries be called off.
The World Cup which kicks off on May 30 in England and Wales, will see the high profile match between sub-continent arch-rivals Pakistan and India be played on June 16.
Echoing the same sentiments, World Cup tournament director, Steve Elworthy said the Pakistan-India match will be the biggest attraction of the tournament.
“It is probably one of the biggest sporting events in the world,” Elworthy said. “You think of that match and you think of the passion, the support, the audience, the [number of] people who applied for tickets.”
Giving the example of the 2017 Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India, Elworthy said, “That particular game, we had over 400,000 applications for tickets, which is an incredible number. The stadium only holds 25,000 people. So there are a number of disappointed people. That’s just locally, but [there is also] the audience globally.”
If either one of the team does decide to forefeet the march, Richardson said the ICC would open the rule books to ascertain the repercussions. “There is justifiable non-compliance and unjustifiable,” he said. “That we will have to deal with under the playing regulations.”
A day earlier, Singh had called for the fixture between the countries to be called off, “India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan.”
He added, “When it comes to cricket, I don’t think we should have any relations with them otherwise they will keep treating us like this.”
Moreover, stadiums in India have been removing photographs of Pakistan cricketers following the attack in Pulwama. The Cricket Club of India covered the portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan with more stadiums following suit.
The IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali pulled down 15 photos of Pakistani cricketers including Javed Miandad, Shahid Afridi and Wasim Akram.