Saturday, September 30, 2023
As Pakistani media persons and fans are in limbo over Indian visa delays ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has again raised the issue with the global cricket body, revealed sources privy to the matter.
India issued visas to Pakistan's cricket squad — the last team to receive visas — after the PCB had taken up the matter of non-issuance of visas to the national squad by the host country, with the ICC earlier this week.
The sources privy to the matter said Saturday that the Indian authorities were unnecessarily delaying visas to Pakistani cricket fans and media persons intended to attend the mega event — scheduled to be held on October 5 in India.
In an email, the PCB has asked the ICC to take prompt action on the visa policy so the media and fans can apply for Indian visas in a timely manner and can cover and cheer, respectively, the touring side, the PCB sources added.
"It is alarming that the media and fans are yet to be informed about the visa policy, as Pakistan have already played their first of the two warm-ups and will play their first fixture of the tournament against the Netherlands within a few days," the sources said.
The PCB expects that the ICC and other relevant authorities will expedite the matter as there is a growing anxiety amongst Pakistan fans and journalists who wish to support and cover their team in the World Cup.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani stressed earlier this week that India cannot deny visas to Pakistani cricket fans as the ICC rules bind the host countries to cater to the demand.
"As per ICC rules, providing visas to the fans is mandatory," the foreign minister made the remark during a press conference in Islamabad.
He added that Pakistani fans must get Indian visas and the PCB will take up the matter with the ICC.
Pakistan are set to face India on October 15 in the mega event in Ahmedabad. The Green Shirts' first two matches in the event will be against qualifiers on October 6 and 12, respectively.
The schedule for Cricket World Cup 2023:
A total of 10 teams will participate in the showcase event, the first eight having already qualified through the Cricket World Cup Super League.