25 Sep Uncertainty ends as India issues visas to Pakistan team for World Cup 2023
NEW DELHI: The uncertainty surrounding Pakistan’s participation in the most awaited ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 ended as India finally issued visas to the Pakistan team, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.
ICC’s confirmation came after the complaints of a delay in the process of visa issuance.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had written to the governing body complaining about a visa delay which, it said, had disrupted the team’s preparation for the showpiece event across the border.
“Visas have been issued to the Pakistan team,” an ICC spokesperson told Reuters without elaborating further.
PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq confirmed to Reuters they have been asked to collect their passports from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
India and Pakistan have suspended bilateral cricket, thanks to soured political relations between the neighbours, and play each other only in multi-team events like the World Cup and Asia Cup.
Earlier in a strongly-worded statement, Farooq decried the “inequitable treatment” metered out to a Pakistan team, who are scheduled to arrive in India on Wednesday.
“There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup,” Farooq said in the statement.
“We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup.
“It’s a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament.”
Pakistan will play two warm-up matches before beginning their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on Oct. 6.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to clash in a mouth-watering Oct. 14 contest in Ahmedabad.
India declined to tour Pakistan for the Asia Cup, which was played between August 30 and September 17, and played their matches in Sri Lanka instead.
Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.
Schedule of Pakistan’s warm-up matches:
- September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad
- October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad
Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:
- October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
- October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
- October 14 — vs India in Ahmedabad
- October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru
- October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai
- October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai
- October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
- November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
- November 11 — vs England in Kolkata
The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).
If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.
If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.