PCB asks ICC to ensure visas for players during T20 World Cup in India next year
New Delhi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants the ICC to assure visas for its players and officials when India hosts the T20 World Cup in October next year, by January 2021. This information was shared by PCB CEO Wasim Khan. The PCB CEO also confirmed that there is 'no chance' of an Indo-Pak bilateral series in 'foreseeable future'. Wasim Khan also said that Pakistan and India will be a part the Futures Tours Programme (FTP) which starts in 2023.
India would be hosting the global T20 event in October. The two neighbours have very disturbed diplomatic ties at present. So the PCB has sought assurances that the visa process of their players and support staff would be dealt with by the ICC.
'This is an ICC matter. We have discussed our concerns. There is a 'Host Agreement'. It states very clearly that host nation (India in this case) will have to provide visas and accommodation for teams that are due to participate in T20 World Cup. Pakistan is one of the teams,' Khan stated.
'We have sought assurances from the ICC that our players will receive visas. ICC is now taking this up with the BCCI because that directive and confirmation will clearly need to come from their government,' added.
Khan 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 Indian visas. If it (visas) isn't (there), then like any nation would expect, we would also expect ICC to take that up directly with India. We expect the Indian government through the BCCI to resolve this matter,' Khan informed.
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.
Khan seemed quite practical about a bilateral series taking place between India and Pakistan. He clearly said that India and Pakistan aren't going to play any bilateral series in near future in the current climate.
'I think we have to be realistic about India and Pakistan bilateral series. BCCI needs to get permission before they can play Pakistan in any bilateral series, home, away or even on neutral venues,' he said.
'I think on both sides, there is plenty of cricket to be played against other countries. Sadly for fans and players in both countries, it does not look like that India and Pakistan will be playing bilateral series in foreseeable future. So there is no current planning that we can factor into the next FTP (2023-31),' the PCB CEO added.
Khan didn't wish to comment on the impasse surrounding the ICC chairmanship. However he clarified that contrary to popular notion, there is no animosity between BCCI and PCB at the global forum.
It was widely speculated that the PCB was opposed to any candidate backed by the BCCI. 'I am not aware that there is any dispute around voting with regards to the BCCI and PCB. It's the domain of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and PCB chairman Ehsan Mani. I have no knowledge or information on that,' said the former Derbyshire and Warwickshire batsman.
'We obviously communicate at ICC meetings and on various platforms and forums as we need to. But there has been very little dialogue between both the countries (boards). I know in the past there has been a cordial relationship between the BCCI and the PCB. Certainly, there is no visible animosity from both sides when we are on ICC platforms as we have discussions,' Khan added.Suggest A Correction
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