Bhubaneswar: As they bid adieu to the World Cup, Pakistan Women cricket team's parting message before heading back home was that sports should be kept free of politics after protests forced them to change base from Mumbai to Cuttack before the mega-event.
"Be it Kabaddi, hockey or cricket, games should be out of other matters," Bashir Ali, manager of the team, said on arrival here from Cuttack on way back to his country. ICC shifted the Group B matches of the tournament to Cuttack at the last minute due to stiff opposition to the Pakistani team in Mumbai after border tensions increased due to ceasefire violation at the LoC.
As the matches were fixed at the eleventh hour, the Pakistani team was put up in the OCA Club in Barabati stadium in Cuttack. Pakistan Team captain Sana Mir was all praise for the hospitality there, saying, "I cannot forget the hospitality offered by the Odisha Cricket Association."
Terming her team's serial defeats in the tournament as "not pleasant", Sana Mir said they had worked very hard for the last few years for the World Cup.