Pakistan’s World Cup plans have taken a hit due to delayed visas, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source claimed on Saturday.
The Pakistan contingent was due to fly to the UAE next week and stay for a couple of days as part of their team bonding exercise before flying to Hyderabad but they have now been forced to change their plans.
“Pakistan team had planned to have team bonding sessions in Dubai but due to the delay in the Indian visa that has been cancelled,” a PCB source said. “The team will now fly directly to Hyderabad via Dubai on September 27 subject to visa clearance.”
Pakistan play their first warm-up game against New Zealand in Hyderabad on September 29. The match will be played behind closed doors after police informed the local association of their inability to provide adequate security citing religious festivals.
The BCCI didn’t react to PCB’s claims though the matter has been brought to the notice of the ICC.
Sources claimed that the visas were still in process and needed time since it required clearances from three ministries in the Indian government — home, external affairs and sports.
Pakistan’s applications for visas were submitted only earlier this week while other teams are learnt to have done so in the first week of September. That is the reason being cited for the delay.
Pakistan’s other warm-up game is against Australia on October 3, also in Hyderabad. The venue also hosts their opening two matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka on October 6 and 10, respectively.