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PCB seeks visa guarantee for Pakistan players for twin ICC events in India in 2021 & 2023

He was reportedly told such issues are taken up a year ahead of the schedule.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ever since the terror attack in Pulwama happened on February 14 resulting in the martyrdom of over 40 CRPF personnel, relations between India and Pakistan have plummeted and even their cricketing ties have felt the heat. After voices came up in India calling for boycotting the World Cup clash with Pakistan in England on June 16 and even seeking ouster of the arch-rivals from the mega event, now Pakistan have also raised some concerns.

On Saturday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani raised the issue of ‘visa guarantee’ for his country’s cricketers at the two International Cricket Council (ICC) events scheduled in India in the next four years, at the ICC Board meetings in Dubai. The first is the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the other is the ICC World Cup in 2023.

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Mani, a former president of the ICC, sought a guarantee that visas would not be an issue at the two events to be held in India. He was reportedly told such issues are taken up a year ahead of the schedule and there was still time for the international body to take a call on them.

Bilateral cricketing ties between the two Asian powerhouses have remained suspended and the two play only in multilateral events. Pakistan played in India in a World Cup on a couple of occasions (1996 and 2011) and both times, they lost to the hosts in the knock-out stage. India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012-13 when the neighbours came to India for two T20Is and three ODIs. While the T20Is were drawn 1-1, Pakistan won the ODIs 2-1.

Shooting WC ran into trouble over visa denial

Last month, the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Shooting World Cup was in trouble when two Pakistani participants were refused visas by India in the wake of the Pulwama attack. The ISSF decided to cancel all the quota places from the competition but relented after India’s Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association made some efforts. The International Olympic Committee though sought an assurance in written that no participant would be denied visa by India at any international sporting event.

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