Pakistani team got Indian visa 11 hours before leaving for the World Cup. cricket news

The permission has been received after the PCB wrote a strong letter to the ICC, as the first practice match is to be held on Friday.

pakistan cricket teamPakistan team members sang the national anthem at the beginning of the Asia Cup cricket match. (AP)

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With less than 48 hours left to leave for Hyderabad for the World Cup, the Pakistan cricket team got Indian visas late on Monday evening. The development comes hours after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wrote a strongly worded letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the delay in getting Indian visas for the World Cup starting October 5 in Ahmedabad.

The Babar Azam-led Pakistan team will now leave for Dubai from Lahore on Wednesday morning and will fly to Hyderabad in the afternoon, where they will play the first of their two practice matches against New Zealand on Friday.

As per its original schedule, Pakistan was to camp for two days in Dubai on Monday and Tuesday before flying to Hyderabad. However, delays in obtaining Indian visas forced the PCB to cancel their boot camp and reschedule their flights for Wednesday. And after waiting till Monday evening, the PCB wrote to the ICC about the delay. And it is understood that the Indian High Commission granted the visa to the Pakistani team around 8 pm IST.

Pointing to the delay in getting visas, the PCB said: “There has been extraordinary delay in getting approval and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup. We have written to the ICC expressing our concerns about the unequal treatment of Pakistan and reminding them of their obligations towards the World Cup.

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It further said, ‘It is a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through uncertainty before the big tournament. We have been reminding them about their obligations for the last three years and it has all come to a head in the last two days with our first practice game taking place on September 29. We were forced to cancel our original plan to hold a team-building exercise. In Dubai on the way to India. We had to rework our plans and book new flights, but these plans are subject to visa issuance.

PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq also shared details of the process followed to obtain the visa. “We have sent the passport details of the first batch for Indian visa applications to ICC on August 18. ICC had sent the visa invitation letter on 28 August. Following the team’s return from the Asia Cup on September 15, we submitted visa applications along with passports at the Indian High Commission, Islamabad on September 19.

This is the latest twist in Pakistan’s journey for the World Cup. Earlier, PCB had threatened to pull out of cricket’s mega event in India after BCCI refused to go to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. Only after the green signal was given by their Foreign Ministry, the Pakistan team boarded the flight to Sri Lanka where India played their Asia Cup matches.

First published: 25-09-2023 at 20:54 IST

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