We want visa assurance or we will push for the relocation of the T20 World Cup from India to UAE: Ehsan Mani
The bilateral relation between India and Pakistan is at an all time low at the moment.
Updated - Feb 20, 2021 7:12 pm
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has stated they will push the ICC to relocate the upcoming T20 World Cup outside India if the hosts do not guarantee visas to Pakistani players and fans. The seventh edition of the T20 World Cup and first since 2016 is scheduled to be held in India in the second half of the year.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Australia last year but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. PCB, nonetheless, are worried over the visa situation. The political tension between thee two neighbours is at an all time high in recent times. They have not played a full-bilateral series since 2007.
The last bilateral series between them took place in 2012 when Pakistan visited India for a short limited-overs tour. Since then, India and Pakistan have only met in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup. The relation between the two countries further deteriorated in 2019 following the Pulwama attack and could take another turn for the worse if the Pakistan players and the fans are not granted visas ahead of the World Cup.
PCB wants relocation of ICC T20 World Cup
As far as PCB are concerned, they have started preparing for the worst case scenario. Ehsan Mani recently revealed the PCB is planning to push for ICC T20 World Cup 2021’s relocation to the UAE if the Indian government does not give them written assurance. Mani said the PCB want the assurance by the end of March.
“There is a need to change the ‘Big Three’. We are not seeking written assurance for the visas of the national team only, but for the fans, officials and journalists as well. We have told the ICC that India should give written assurances by the end of March so that we know where we stand or we will push for the relocation of the World Cup from India to UAE,” Ehsan Mani said in a virtual interaction with reporters on Saturday (February 20).
When 2018 Asia Cup was relocated to UAE
This is not the first time such a situation has arisen for India and Pakistan. A couple of years ago in 2018, the Asia Cup had to be relocated to the UAE. It was originally scheduled to take place in India but the venue had to be changed due to the political tension. Last year, the venue for the Asia Cup was shifted again from Pakistan to Sri Lanka due to the same reason.
But the tournament had to be postponed because of the pandemic. The Asia Cup will be now held this year in Sri Lanka. Given the situation between India and Pakistan at present, it won’t be surprising if the T20 World Cup also moves out of the country.