Pak women’s players don’t mind staying inside stadium
Cuttack: Pakistan women cricketers were not complaining over their accommodations being provided inside the Barabati Stadium for the ICC World Cup though the world body and the BCCI got the flake from the former Pakistan players over the issue.
"I think all our matches will be played at the same ground (Barabati)," Pakistan women's team captain Sana Mir told reporters after her side defeated Odisha XI by 95 runs in the practice match.
The match was held smoothly without any disturbance neither near the venue nor anywhere in the city.
Sana and her team members were lodged at OCA Club at the Barabati Stadium in view of the opposition to Pakistani team's participation in Women's World Cup in the backdrop of the tension between the two countries at the LoC.
"We do not mind staying in 2 star, 3 star or 4 star hotels. We are here to play cricket," Sana Mir said, adding they feel Barabati Stadium like any other ground in Pakistan.
Former players back home have lashed out at the ICC and the BCCI for lodging the Pakistan team inside the stadium instead of a five-star hotel, saying, "it's a shame that in a country like India even their government and Board can't assure safety of Pakistan players if they stay at a hotel".
The Pakistani team would play all its matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at Barabati Stadium with 1500 security personnel deployed to ensure full proof security to the visiting teams.
Besides the Sangh Parivar, two small local outfits are protesting Pakistan's participation in the event. They have also threatened to disrupt matches by digging up the ground.
The protest seemed to have no impact on Pakistani players who scored 240 runs against Odisha Women XI in the warm up match. While Bismah Maroof scored 76 runs, her team-mate Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi made 73 runs. Captain Sana Mir, however, made only two runs in the practice match.
Asmavia Iqubal Khokar took three wickets for Pakistan giving away 20 runs in her 10-over spell. Sadia Yousaf and Sana Mir took two wickets each while Bismah Maroof captured one.
The home side scored only 145 runs against Pakistan's 240 runs. Madhusmita Behera was the top scorer for Odisha XI with 53 runs followed by 21 by Kadambini Mahakud.
"We wanted to play 50 overs. We are satisfied with its performance as Pakistani side comprises international standard players. We learnt a lot by playing against Pakistan," said Odisha Women XI captain Madhusmita Behera.
Meanwhile, OCA sources said the players from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were scheduled to reach the state tomorrow for the World Cup matches to be played in Cuttack from February 1.
Pakistan is scheduled to play another practice match with an Odisha team tomorrow.