World Cup – Pakistani team gets visas less than 48 hours before flying to India


The ICC has confirmed that the Indian government has approved visas for the World Cup-bound Pakistan team, less than 48 hours before the team is scheduled to fly to Hyderabad via Dubai. This approval came on Monday after the PCB had written a letter to the ICC expressing displeasure over the delay in issuing visas. The visa had not been approved at the time he sent the email.

But due to the delay, the Pakistan team had already had to cancel plans for a team bonding trip to the UAE before the World Cup.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs grants security clearance for issuing visas,” an Indian government spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “The process is underway.” The PCB is expected to receive passports with visas for its team on Monday evening.

However, matters reached a boiling point early in the day as working hours in Islamabad were over and there was still no news on whether visas would be issued or not. Although the Pakistan board was in regular contact with the ICC throughout, it decided to write formally to the governing body to complain, saying that such unequal treatment of Pakistan – who had to wait so long – was an insult to the world. Was the only team to participate in the cup. Getting a visa – will not be tolerated.

In the email, the PCB asked the ICC what steps the global body intends to take to resolve the issue, and also asked whether written confirmation was provided by or on behalf of the BCCI, in line with the host board’s obligations. Government of India – That visas will be provided to all participating countries. At its annual conference in Durban in July, the ICC was told by the BCCI that visa facilities for the Pakistan contingent would be facilitated in time. Whether it was given in writing could not be confirmed.

The PCB has also raised questions about whether the inability to provide visas to the team in time for travel is a breach of the World Cup hosting agreement.

Pakistan will now fly to Dubai in the early hours of Wednesday (September 27), transit there and then travel to Hyderabad on Wednesday evening. He has to play his first practice match against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Friday.

“It is disappointing that the Pakistan team has to go through this uncertainty ahead of a major tournament. We have been reminding [them] About his responsibilities for the last three years and all this has come to light in the last two days with our first practice match taking place on 29th September.

PCB statement

The visa delay was first reported by ESPNcricinfo last Friday. Pakistan had planned a two-day team-bonding visit to the UAE before his arrival in India, but it had to be canceled as he was unable to travel as his passports were with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Before the matter was resolved, PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq said in a statement, “There has been an extraordinary delay in getting approval and obtaining Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup. We have written to the ICC about the unequal treatment towards them.” I have raised my concerns.” Pakistan and reminding them of these responsibilities towards the World Cup.”

According to the PCB, the process of obtaining the visa began in late August, when the board received an invitation letter from the ICC, which was a part of their presentation to the Indian High Commission. Because the Pakistan team was traveling from Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup – of which it was officially the host – the PCB demanded visa applications be submitted without a physical passport in the first instance. They were told this was not possible and because passports were required, the PCB eventually applied on 19 September, shortly after the team’s withdrawal from the Asia Cup.

Players of Pakistani origin from other countries have also been affected. Two people from the Netherlands, Sharij Ahmed and Saqib Zulfikar, both of Pakistan origin, could not travel to Bengaluru for a short preparatory camp organized by the Dutch Board in late August as they did not get visas in time.

The KNCB applied for a visa for the Dutch team for the World Cup on 8 August. Each participating team sends a list of names to the BCCI traveling for the World Cup, after which the BCCI sends an invitation letter as well as permissions from various branches. Government of India – Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

On August 2, the Home Ministry sent a note to the BCCI stating, “Security clearance of the Home Ministry for the event (World Cup) is required only if there are foreign participants from PRC countries i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan.” “Aliens and Stateless Persons of Pakistani Origin” (PRC is the ‘pre-referral category’). Any person from a PRC country requires security clearance before a visa can be granted.

In the case of Shariz and Zulfikar, their visas finally arrived on September 19, days before they were scheduled to travel to India as part of the Dutch squad. The visa was approved only after outside intervention.

Earlier this year, Australia opening batsman Usman Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, had to fly to India a day later than his teammates due to a delay in getting a visa. In 2011, he was initially refused a visa to play in the Champions League T20 in India for New South Wales. Meanwhile, he has visited India several times.

gmt 1425 The story was updated after the ICC confirmed that the Indian government had approved the visa.

Usman Samiuddin is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo


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