Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan has raised a number of eyebrows with his recent comments regarding ‘visa assurance’ from BCCI. On Thursday, Khan revealed that the PCB has asked the ICC to get written assurances from the BCCI that its team would face no problems getting visas to play in the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 50 over World Cup in India.
The bilateral relation between the two countries is at an all-time low at the moment due to Pakistan’s failure to stop cross-border terrorism. Both the teams have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan visited India in 2012-13 season for a short limited-overs tour.
Given the present scenario, it is highly unlikely that the bilateral relation between the two cricket boards will start any time soon. In such a scenario, the PCB wants to be assured that the Pakistan players won’t be facing any problem in getting the visas for the ICC tournaments in India.
“We are also looking at the fact that the ICC World Cups are to be hosted in India in 2021 and 2023 and we have already asked the ICC to give us written assurances from BCCI that we will not face any problems getting visas and clearance to play in India,” Khan said in an interview on the Youtube Cricket Baaz Channel.
No discrimination from Indian government in providing visa:
Before making any claim regarding visa issue, the PCB as well as Khan should have at least checked the Indian government’s policy over visa for athletes. In June last year, the Indian government had assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that visas would be granted to participants from all countries including Pakistan “without prejudice”.
Before that decision, the Indian government had not provided visas to Pakistani athletes for the shooting World Cup in Delhi following the Pulwama attack. By refusing visas to sportspersons from Pakistan, India faced the risk of not being allowed to host big-ticket events such as Olympics and Asian Games.
But the government did not take long to reverse its decision and thus Khan’s claims does not make much sense. The Indian government has allowed Team India to play against Pakistan in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup and thus there is absolutely no reason why would it deny the Pakistani players the visa for ICC tournaments in the country.