The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that Indian visas were provided to members of the cricket teams of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday for the ODI World Cup. According to India Today, the Pakistani players and support staff will receive their visas for the quadrennial competition on Tuesday. The news came out shortly after the PCB voiced grave worries to the international organization about the national team’s delayed departure to Hyderabad.
The approval of the visa came less than 48 hours before Pakistan was supposed to depart for India in the early hours of September 27. On September 29 in Hyderabad, they take on New Zealand in their opening exhibition game. Pakistan has received visas, an ICC spokeswoman told PTI.
However, there was still ambiguity in the Pakistani camp regarding the granting of the visa.
“We have not yet received a call regarding visa clearance from the Indian High Commission.” According to PCB spokeswoman Umar Farooq, a member of our staff is stationed there, according to PTI.
The PCB wrote to ICC CEO Geoff Allardice on Monday regarding the visa delay and said that the team’s preparation for the 50-over showpiece had been negatively hampered by the nervous wait. The PCB received the ICC’s confirmation on Tuesday.
Due to the uncertainties surrounding Indian visas, Pakistan’s two-day team-bonding retreat in Dubai before their scheduled arrival in Hyderabad on September 27 was canceled.
Starting with the exhibition match against New Zealand, the Babar Azam-led team plays two warm-up games and as many World Cup games in Hyderabad.
The PCB also complained in the letter to Allardice that their issues over the issuance of visas to players, team officials, supporters, and journalists for the World Cup in India had not been addressed for more than three years.
Furthermore, it was said that Pakistan would not allow such unfair treatment. Farooq reiterated his worries, saying: “There have been unprecedented delays in acquiring approval and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan squad for the ICC World Cup.
We have written to the ICC to express our concerns about Pakistan’s unfair treatment and to remind them of their commitment to the World Cup.
It is disappointing that the Pakistani team has to deal with the unpredictability before the important competition.
“We have been reminding them of their responsibilities for the past three years, and now it’s down to the final two days with our first warm-up game slated for September 29. We had to cancel our first intention to host a team-building activity in Dubai while traveling to India.
We have to change our itinerary and reserve new flights, but these arrangements are contingent upon the issue of visas,” he said. The last time Pakistan visited India was in 2016 for the T20 World Cup.
Due to the rift between the two nations, the archrivals only meet in the Asia Cup and ICC competitions.
Due to the cancellation of the trip to Dubai, PCB sources told PTI that about 35 members’ travel reservations had been changed. The team will now depart for Hyderabad from Lahore early on September 27 and arrive in Hyderabad via Dubai late that evening.
The warm-up game is coming up in fewer than four days, and players are uncertain. One can only imagine what would happen to fan and journalist visa applications if the players are having to endure delays, a source told PTI.
Pakistani visa requests must have approval from the home, external affairs, and sports ministries.
Australia will be the opponent for Pakistan’s second exhibition match on October 3 in Hyderabad. They will stay in the city for their opening two World Cup matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka on October 6 and 10, respectively, before traveling to Ahmedabad for the crucial match against the Indian hosts on October 14.
Only Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha of the current Pakistani cricket team have visited India.