PCB demands 'visa guarantee' for cricketers for ICC tournaments in India

At the ICC Board meeting, the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani wanted a guarantee that visa wouldn't be an issue for Pakistan cricketers for ICC tournaments held in India.

PCB's demand comes in the wake of two Pakistan participants in the ISSF World Cup being denied visas.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Pakistan has raised the issue of “visa guarantee” to its cricketers at the two International Cricket Council (ICC) events to be held in India. The 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 World Cup have been allotted to India.

It is learnt the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani brought up the issue at the ICC Board meetings which concluded in Dubai on Saturday.

The PCB chairman wanted a guarantee that visas would not be an issue at these two ICC-conducted events where India was the host. Mani was reportedly told these issues are taken up one year ahead of the tournament and there was time for the ICC to take a call on it.

In the past, Pakistan has played in ICC tournaments in India, including the 2011 World Cup when it lost to India in the semifinal at Mohali. The bilateral cricket engagements between India and Pakistan have remained suspended for a long period. Pakistan last visited India in 2012-13 for a limited-overs tour comprising two Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and three One-Day Internationals.

The ISSF Shooting World Cup here last month ran into trouble with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when two Pakistan participants were refused visas by India following the terrorist attack on Indian security personnel at Pulwama. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) decided to scrap all the quota places from the tournament but relented following efforts by the Indian authorities, including the Union Sports Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

The IOC, however, has demanded a written assurance from the IOA that no future participants at any international sporting meet hosted by India would be denied visas. India is yet to give any such undertaking.