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Posted on Jan 21, 07:15PM | UNI
All Group B matches of the coming Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held at the Barabati Stadium at Cuttack, have been mired in controversy with political parties and various organisations opposed to the Pakistani team's participation.
The match was originally scheduled to be held at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on January 31. But, BCCI first shifted the Group B matches to Gujarat and then to Odisha following growing anti-Pakistan mood in those states after the recent beheading of an Indian soldier by the Pakistani army on the Indo-Pak border.
Teams from Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia figure in the Group B and the matches are scheduled to be played at Barabati Stadium and DRIEM ground Cuttack.
Utkal Bharat and Kalinga Sena, two regional political outfits, today vowed not to allow the Pakistani players land in Odisha and play.
"Under no circumstances will the Pakistani women cricket players be allowed to play in Odisha," leaders of the two organisations told a joint press conference here.
Utkal Bharat president A K Swain and Kalinga Sena chief Hemanta Rath said Pakistan is the 'centre of terrorism' and always involved in terrorist activities.
"As many as 162 people were killed in the 2008 Mumbai mayhem when Pak-sponsored terrorists attacked two hotels. They (Pakistan soldiers) had beheaded Indian soliders after the Kargil war and again in July 2011," they told reporters.
Though its army was involved in barbaric and uncivilised acts like beheading of Indian soldier, yet the Pakistan's government had neither expressed regret nor apologised for it, they said.
"Under these circumstances there is no point in playing cricket with Pakistan," Mr Swain and Mr Rath said.