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PCB writes to ICC as wait for Indian visa continues less than two days before scheduled travel

Pakistan were supposed to have a two-day team bonding session in Dubai before their scheduled arrival in Hyderabad on September 27 but it has been cancelled with uncertainty over Indian visa

PTI Indore Published 25.09.23, 05:51 PM
Representational picture.

Representational picture. File picture

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday raised serious concerns with the ICC over the delay in the national team's travel to India for the World Cup due to visa issues and claimed the anxious wait has already impacted its preparation for the 50-over showpiece.

The PCB wrote to the ICC as it continues to wait for visa clearance from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.


Pakistan were supposed to have a two-day team bonding session in Dubai before their scheduled arrival in Hyderabad on September 27 but it has been cancelled with uncertainty over Indian visa.

The Babar Azam-led side plays two warm-up games and as many World Cup matches in Hyderabad starting with the practice fixture against New Zealand on September 29.

In the letter addressed to ICC CEO Geoff Allardice, the PCB also claimed that its concerns over visa being granted to players, team officials, fans and journalists for the World Cup in India have not been addressed for more than three years. It also added that such inequitable treatment to Pakistan will not be acceptable.

Reiterating those concerns, PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq told PTI: "There has been an extraordinary delays in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for ICC World Cup.

"We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup. It's a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament.

"We have been reminding about their obligations from last three years and it has all come down to last two days with our first warm game scheduled on September 29. We were forced to cancel our original plan to organise team-building exercise in Dubai on the way to India. We have had to rework our plan and book new flights, but these plans are subject issuance of visas," he said.

Pakistan last visited India for the T20 World Cup in 2016. The arch-rivals only play each other in the Asia Cup and ICC tournaments due to the tense relations between the two countries.

"Since the last week PCB is being informed that the visas will be received within 24 hours; but still awaiting and it has been indicated that the Indian Home Ministry has not granted NOC," the spokesperson added. PCB sources informed that flight tickets of around 35 members have been re-booked now that the Dubai trip is off. Subject to visa, the team will now leave for Hyderabad from Lahore in the wee hours of September 27 and reach Hyderabad via Dubai in the night.

"The warm-up game is less than four days away and players are in a state of uncertainty. If the players are having to experience delays, one can only wonder what will happen to visa applications of fans and journalists," a source said.

Visa applications from Pakistan require clearances from three ministries -- home, external affairs and sports.

Pakistan's second warm-up game will be against Australia on October 3, also in Hyderabad.

They will remain in the city for their opening two World Cup games against Netherlands and Sri Lanka on October 6 and 10 respectively before flying to Ahmedabad for the big game against hosts India on October 14.

Only two members from the current Pakistan squad have toured India for cricket -- Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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