The Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] has come up with new demand in the wake of the recent ceasefire between Indian and Pakistan armies at the ‘Line of Control’.
According to a report published in the Indian Express, the PCB wants a ‘guarantee’ from the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] that the Government of India will grant visas to Pakistani fans who want to come to their neighboring country to watch the upcoming ICC T2O World Cup.
The demand has come after PCB chief Ehsan Mani recently said that the cricket board wants a written assurance from the BCCI about the issuance of visas, and in case if the assurance isn’t provided then they have the right to demand an alternative venue for the tournament which is the UAE.
“If visas are not guaranteed, then PCB will ask ICC to shift the venue from India,” the source said,
Ehsan Mani has also written to the International Cricket Council, asking it to ensure that apart from the squad, visas are granted to other stakeholders like media and spectators who wish to watch their team in action during the marquee event in India.
Mani, on Sunday, told the Indian Express that “it is the responsibility of ICC” to ensure that visas are granted to all the stakeholders according to the Members Participation Agreement.
According to a BCCI official, as quoted by the Indian Express on condition of anonymity, the decision to give visas to fans will be made by the Government of India after zeroing in on all factors, most importantly Covid.
“The Government has to take a call on allowing fans to the stadium. The BCCI has no jurisdiction when it comes to issuing visas. If the Government allows, we have no problem. At the same time, these are not normal times. No country can give an assurance that they will keep their obligations under the Members Participation Agreement during a pandemic,” the official said.
Pakistan last played on Indian soil during the 2016 T20 World Cup. The last bilateral series between the two arch-rivals took place in the winter of 2012 when India hosted Pakistan for a series of two T20Is and three One-day Internationals.