PCB nudges ICC over matter of Indian visas

Pakistan Cricket Board says no progress has been made despite assurances from India to issue visas in "24 hours"

By
Sohail Imran
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). — PCB website
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). — PCB website 

As Pakistan's fate regarding participation in the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 hangs in balance, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken up the matter of non-issuance of visas to the national squad by the host country, India, with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The Pakistan cricket squad has not yet received their visas for travelling to India despite just days left for the beginning of the mega event. However, sources have expressed a "strong chance" that the team will get the visas today.

Pakistan are the only one out of nine teams who haven't been issued their visas yet, according to ESPNcricinfo.

The country's cricket governing body nudged the ICC through a letter to record its protest against India for creating uncertainty for Pakistan by not issuing the visas, sources said.

Reminding the ICC of the host members' agreement, the PCB stated that the issue of visas of team, officials, fans and media, has been raised repetitively before the international cricket regulator for three years but Pakistan's concerns have not been addressed.

It said that ICC's lack of interest in the matter has brought the issue to this point that India is not releasing the visas.

The letter also mentioned the cancellation of the national squad's two-day trip to Dubai due to the non-issuance of visas.

It said that the Indian authorities assured of issuing the visas in "24 hours" whenever they were approached in this regard, but no progress has been made. 

Earlier, the sources said that the Indian embassy in Pakistan is expected to receive a non-objection certificate from its home ministry later today, following which it will immediately issue the visas.

They revealed that the national squad would travel to Hyderabad, India, from Dubai. It will then go against New Zealand on September 29 in a warm-up match.

Travel between the two countries is usually an issue for players due to the diplomatic tensions between the governments.

Pakistan and India haven't played bilateral series in any format since 2012-13. Pakistan last toured India for ODI and T20I series. The two arch-rivals played a Test against each other back in 2007.

Pakistan's schedule for World Cup

  • October 10 - vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
  • October 14 - vs India in Ahmedabad
  • October 20 - vs Australia in Bengaluru
  • October 23 - vs Afghanistan in Chennai
  • October 27 - vs South Africa in Chennai
  • October 31 - vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
  • November 4 - vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
  • November 11 - vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 1:30pm (PST).

If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.

If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.

Squad

Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), M Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir.

Reserves

Mohammad Haris, Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed.