‘Extraordinary delay’: Pakistan obtains visa hours before traveling to India; Here’s what actually happened – Magazine Creations

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the visas of the Pakistani cricket team have finally been approved to participate in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. The news comes after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed concerns over the delay in visa processing, saying it was hampering the team’s preparations for the cross-border event.

Omar Farooq, PCB spokesperson, had earlier issued a strongly worded statement expressing dissatisfaction over the “extraordinary delay” in securing Indian visas. According to Farouk, the process was full of setbacks and doubts, which caused disruption to the team’s preparations. The PCB also stated that it had formally communicated these concerns to the ICC.

Reuters quoted Farooq as saying in the statement: “It is unfortunate that the Pakistani team is going through a state of uncertainty before the major tournament.”

Farooq confirmed that the team received instructions to receive their passports from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

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The approval of the visa is crucial at a time when India and Pakistan have temporarily suspended bilateral cricket matches, due to tense political relations between the two neighboring countries. Teams now only face each other in multi-nation tournaments such as the World Cup and the Asian Cup. The visa issue has added another layer of tension to the already high-stakes relationship between the two cricket rivals.

The Pakistani national team is scheduled to arrive in India on September 27, after which it will play two friendly matches. Their FIFA World Cup campaign kicks off against the Netherlands on October 6th. But all eyes are on October 14, when India and Pakistan go head-to-head in what is expected to be an exciting match in Ahmedabad.

Interestingly, India chose not to tour Pakistan for the Asia Cup, opting to play their matches in Sri Lanka instead. The tournament was held between August 30 and September 17. The move sparked further speculation about the tense cricketing relations between the two countries.

Permits from three ministries – Home, Foreign and Sports – are needed for visa applications from Pakistan. However, the ICC refused to provide details about the visa approval details, leaving many questions unanswered.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Updated: Sep 26, 2023, 08:58 AM IST


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