Dubai: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has knocked at the doors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and sought an assurance that the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) will grant visas for its players and officials when India hosts the T20 World Cup in October next year.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan has reportedly given January 2021 ultimatum to the BCCI to resolve the issue.
Speaking at a press conference, Khan also confirmed that there is “no chance” of an Indo-Pak bilateral series in the “foreseeable future” and neither will it be a part of fresh the Futures Tours Programme (FTP) that starts in 2023.
It may be noted that India would be hosting the global T20 event in October and given the tense diplomatic ties between the two neighbours, the PCB has sought assurances that the BCCI will issues visas for its players and support staff and the ICC will look into it.
“We have sought assurances from the ICC that our players will receive visas and ICC is now taking this up with the BCCI because that directive and confirmation will clearly need to come from their government,” Khan said.
He then clarified that it’s only fair that there is a time-frame for such a deadline.
“We have asked for a deadline till December-January, which we believe is the right thing. We expect a response from the ICC on whether our players and officials will receive visas to participate in the tournament.
“If it (visas) isn’t (there), then like any nation would expect, we would also expect ICC to take that up directly with India and the Indian government through the BCCI to resolve this matter.”
Responding to the PCB CEO’s concerns, the ICC has made it clear that all participating teams will be given visas as per agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
An ICC spokesperson was quoted as saying by ANI that planning for the tournament was being made keeping in mind that all teams will be provided with visas.
“The Host Agreement for all ICC events, including the ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2021, provides that the host member will ensure visas are provided for all competing teams. The planning for the ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2021 in India is underway on that basis,” the spokesperson said.
Pakistan athletes’ participation in global events held in India has always been contentious subject. Last year, Pakistani shooters could not get visas for a World Cup in Delhi, which kicked up quite a storm.