Cricket World Cup 2023 - After PCB Raises Concern Over Visa Delay, ICC Responds: Report
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Monday that Pakistani cricket players were given Indian visas for the ODI World Cup.
This came hours after the PCB raised serious concerns with the ICC about the delay in the national team's trip to Hyderabad.
The approval of the visa came less than 48 hours before Pakistan was supposed to leave for India in the early hours of September 27. On September 29, they play their first practise game against New Zealand in Hyderabad. An ICC spokesman told PTI, "Visas have been given to Pakistan."
But there was still confusion in the Pakistan side about who would get the visa.
We still haven't heard from the Indian High Commission about getting the visas. "Someone from our team is stationed there," Umar Farooq, a spokesman for the PCB, told PTI.
The PCB wrote to ICC CEO Geoff Allardice on Monday about the visa delay and said the nervous wait had made it harder for the team to prepare for the 50-over showpiece. The ICC confirmed what they said.
Pakistan was meant to have a two-day team-building event in Dubai before their September 27 arrival in Hyderabad, but the event had to be cancelled because of problems with their Indian visas.
The team led by Babar Azam plays two warm-up games and six World Cup games in Hyderabad. The first game is a practise match against New Zealand.
The PCB also told Allardice in the letter that its worries about player, team official, fan, and journalist visas for the World Cup in India have not been addressed for more than three years. It also said that treating Pakistan in this unfair way would not be okay.
To add to his worries, Farooq said, "There have been incredibly long delays in getting clearance and Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup."
"We wrote to the ICC to voice our concerns about Pakistan's unfair treatment and to remind them of their duties related to the World Cup." The Pakistani team is let down by the uncertainty they have to deal with before the big event.
"We've been reminding them of their duties for three years, and tonight and tomorrow is the last two days. Our first warm-up game is on September 29." Our original plan to hold a team-building activity in Dubai on the way to India had to be scrapped.
We had to change our plans and book new flights, but these are just plans until we get our visas, he said.
The last time Pakistan went to India was in 2016 for the T20 World Cup. The bitter enemies only play each other in the Asia Cup and the ICC tournaments because of their bad feelings towards each other.
Sources close to the PCB said that the flight tickets of about 35 members have been rebooked since the trip to Dubai has been cancelled. The team will now leave Lahore early on September 27 for Hyderabad. They will go through Dubai on the way and get to Hyderabad that night.
They don't know what to expect for the warm-up game, which is coming up in less than four days. "If the players are having to wait, it makes you wonder what will happen with the visa applications of fans and reporters," a person said.
Pakistani visa applications need to be approved by three ministries: home, foreign affairs, and sports.
Bangladesh will play its second warm-up game on October 3 in Hyderabad against Australia.
They will stay in the city for their first two World Cup games, on October 6 against the Netherlands and October 10 against Sri Lanka. On October 14, they will move to Ahmedabad for the big game against hosts India.
Only two people on the current Pakistan cricket team have been to India to play cricket: Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha.