Sunday Feb 28, 2021
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought a written guarantee from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the players' visas ahead of the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India, its chairman Ehsan Mani said Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference flanked by PCB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan and National High Performance Centre (NHPC) Director Nadeem Khan, Mani said it looked like the ACC Asia Cup would be "impossible this year as well".
"Sri Lanka had said it would host [the ACC Asia Cup 2021] in June but there's now a clash of dates as the ICC Test Championship's final match is in June. India is close to qualify for the final to be played in London.
"It seems like the Asia Cup will have to be postponed till 2023," he said.
The PCB boss apprised the media that he had asked the ICC to confirm in writing that the visas of everyone — including the players, journalists, squads, and the crowd — would be approved for the World Cup.
"There is a virtual meeting with the ICC tomorrow," Mani said, vowing to raise the issue again then.
A decision on the venue for the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup was expected before March 31, he noted, adding that if it was not confirmed for India, the tournament would be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
India, the PCB chairman underlined, faced three problems — including the Pakistani visas, tax exemption, and the coronavirus pandemic — for hosting the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
He stresses that if the T20 World Cup was to be held in India, then the country would have to extend full cooperation — such as visas and full security to the squad — to Pakistan. If, however, it was unable to do so, then the event should be moved to another venue.
Nadeem Khan, the NHPC director, said a series of trials for city cricket was about to start soon and that more than 90 teams would be formed.
Separately, in response to a question during the press conference, PCB CEO Wasim Khan said all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez was offered a contract based on his performance but he refused.
"It was his personal decision," Khan added.