Ahmedabad fans miffed at Pakistan's attitude
Cricket fans in this city are miffed over Pakistan's opposition to play a Test against India.
Citing security reasons, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is opposed to playing at the Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium.
Pakistan authorities seem to have factored into consideration communal violence that enveloped Ahmedabad in 2002.
The decision has angered cricket buffs who were looking forward to a battle between the arch rivals.
"It is nearly three years since the violence took place. The city is back to its peaceful days. Reminding us of the violence of 2002 is not fair," said Amit Shah, a professional.
Pakistan should let bygones be bygones and let sports bring people across the border closer, he added.
Gujarat police officials had extensively briefed a two-member PCB inspection team that visited the city last month.
The authorities claimed the PCB team was promised foolproof security for the Pakistan squad.
"Pakistan is taking revenge, as India had earlier refused to play in Peshawar and Karachi. They should not be allowed to play in other venues if they are not willing play in Ahmedabad," said Snehal Mehta, a lawyer and cricket enthusiast.
Since the city got the status of Test venue in 1983, there has been only one India-Pakistan tie — in 1987.
India-Pakistan cricket matches evoke strong emotional reactions, wherever they may be played. But cricket fans claim there is no communal angle to it.
"The city was the venue for the special Olympics (for mentally challenged children) last year. All members of the Pakistan team were invited to stay not in hotels but with Hindu families in the city," recalled Manzil Pandya, an IT professional.
"There were no security issues then and the visitors were overwhelmed by the welcome they received. This time, however, I think controversy is being created for political reasons," he added.
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