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Thursday February 09, 2023

India denies visas to Pakistan blind cricket team for T20 World Cup

Pakistan Blind Cricket Council says New Delhi made decision on "political grounds"

December 06, 2022
Pakistans blind cricket team poses for a photo after defeating India in the final of a Triangular Blind Cricket T20 Tournament in Sharjah, UAE, on March 19, 2022. — Facebook/@pbcc.official
Pakistan's blind cricket team poses for a photo after defeating India in the final of a Triangular Blind Cricket T20 Tournament in Sharjah, UAE, on March 19, 2022. — Facebook/@pbcc.official

LAHORE: Ahead of T20 Blind World Cup, the Government of India has declined to issue visas to the Pakistan squad, it emerged on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC), while expressing its disappointment at the Indian government's decision to not issue visas to the Pakistan blind cricket team, said that New Delhi made the decision on "political grounds".

In a statement, the PBCC said that Pakistan, a two-time runner-up, were a strong candidate to win the T20 World Cup. Pakistan’s blind cricket team was to leave for India on Sunday to attend the international sports event.

The T20 Blind World Cup is taking place in India from December 5 to 17.

PBCA Chairman Sultan Shah, who is also the president of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC), disclosed that India's foreign ministry failed to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for visas.

"We didn't receive visas because India's foreign ministry didn't issue NOC," shared Shah.

"Our team is in Lahore, waiting for visas. If we get permission to travel today, all the matches will be rescheduled," he added.

Earlier, WBCC's president Shah claimed that India was given the hosting rights on a condition to issue visas to all participating nations.

Be it normal cricket or some special form, ties between Pakistan and India are highly influenced by political policies. The two teams played each other only in International Cricket Council (ICC) men's events from 2012-13.

Recently, India refused to travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup 2023 due to political pressure. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s secretary and Asian Cricket Council (ACC)'s president Jay Shah's statement sparked controversy.

Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja had clearly stated that Pakistan will not go to India for ICC World Cup 2023 if they don't come to Pakistan for the Asian event next year.