ABVP, BJD MP Oppose Pak Cricketers Playing in Odisha

A day after Bajrang Dal asserted it was opposed to participation of Pakistani women cricketers in the World Cup, BJP student wing, ABVP, today threatened to dig up pitches ahead of the team's matches at Cuttack next month.

Opposition to Pakistani players gained momentum with a number of organisations coming forward to oppose the women cricketers from the neighbouring country.

Cuttack MP Bhartuhari Mahtab of Naveen Patnaik's BJD too disapproved the idea of allowing Pakistani cricketers to play matches in his constituency.

"This is a sensitive issue. Pakistani soldiers have beheaded our jawans along the LOC. Despite having committed such a heinous act, Pakistan have no regret for this. Under such circumstances, players from that country should not be allowed here," Mahtab told reporters.

While ABVP activists demonstrated here opposing the Odisha Cricket Association's decision to welcome Pakistani players, the youth wing of Utkal Bharat, a fringe party, pledged to ensure that the women squad did not touch the soil here.

"The law and order situation will deteriorate further if OCA sticks to their plans to inviting Pakistani players to play. All our members are committed not to allow them to enter our state under any circumstances," Abhishek Joshi, President of Yuva Utkal Bharat said in a memorandum to the Commissioner of Police.

ABVP state office secretary, Binay Kumar Acharya said that they would not hesitate to dig up pitches ahead of Pakistan team's matches. The outfit sought support from the people to ensure that the players do not come to the state.

ABVP also demanded chief minister Patnaik's intervention into the matter as it was related to the law and order issue.

Kalinga Sena President, Hemant Rath threatened that his activists would do everything to stop the matches.

Meanwhile, OCA secretary Asribad Behera and other members have sought the assistance of the state government to ensure that the World Cup remains trouble-free.

The OCA members are scheduled to meet the Director General of Police (DGP) tomorrow.

According to the schedule, the Pakistani women players will play two friendly matches against Odisha team on January 28 and 29 before embarking on their World Cup journey from February 1.

Of the 11 matches under the group, six will be played at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack while five games to be held at DRIEMs Ground at Choudwar, 15 km from Cuttack.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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