- Approval comes hours after PCB wrote to ICC expressing its displeasure at delay in issuance of visas
The Indian government has approved visas for Pakistan’s World Cup-bound squad, less than 48 hours before the team is due to fly out to Hyderabad via Dubai.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed this development to Business Recorder, saying it has finally received a call from the Indian High Commissioner to “come and collect” the passports of the players and support staff.
The approval comes hours after the PCB wrote to the ICC expressing its displeasure at the delay in the issuance of the visas, which caused the Pakistan team to cancel plans for a pre-World Cup team bonding trip to the UAE.
“We have had to rework our plan and book new flights, but these plans are subject to issuance of visas,” it had informed ICC.
The PCB had warned that this delay was unacceptable and could jeopardise Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup. They had called on the ICC to intervene and ensure that the team was able to travel to India in time.
The Pakistan team is due to play their first warm-up game on Friday against New Zealand in Hyderabad. If the visa delay is not resolved by then, they may be forced to miss the match.
According to the PCB, the process for obtaining visas for the Pakistan cricket team began at the end of August, when the board received an invitation letter from the ICC. The invitation letter is a required part of the visa application process.
The PCB initially sought to submit visa applications without physical passports, as the Pakistan team was traveling to and from Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup, of which Pakistan was officially the host.
However, the PCB later learned that passports were required, and they submitted the visa applications on September 19, soon after the team returned from the Asia Cup.