Amid growing uncertainty surrounding Pakistan's participation in the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took up the matter of delay in the Indian visas for the national squad with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Despite only a few days left before the beginning of the mega event, the host country India has not yet issued visas to Pakistani players, who are the only one out of nine teams who haven't received their visas.
Sources have expressed a "strong chance" that the team will get the visas today.
However, the country's cricket governing body nudged the ICC through a letter to record its protest against India for creating uncertainty for Pakistan by not issuing the visas, sources said.
Reminding the ICC of the host members' agreement, the PCB stated that the issue of visas of team, officials, fans and media, has been raised repetitively before the international cricket regulator for three years but Pakistan's concerns have not been addressed.
It said that the ICC's lack of interest in the matter has brought the issue to this point that India is not releasing the visas.
The letter also mentioned the cancellation of the national squad's two-day trip to Dubai due to the non-issuance of visas.
It said that the Indian authorities assured of issuing the visas in "24 hours" whenever they were approached in this regard, but no progress has been made.
Earlier, the sources said that the Indian embassy in Pakistan is expected to receive a non-objection certificate from its home ministry later today, following which it will immediately issue the visas.
They revealed that the national squad would travel to Hyderabad, India, from Dubai. It will then go against New Zealand on September 29 in a warm-up match.
Travel between the two countries is usually an issue for players due to the diplomatic tensions between the governments.
Pakistan and India haven't played bilateral series in any format since 2012-13. Pakistan last toured India for ODI and T20I series. The two arch-rivals played a Test against each other back in 2007.
Pakistan's schedule for World Cup
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 will start at 10am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 1:30pm (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.
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