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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan has said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is taking up the Visa issue with the board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the 2021 World T20 that is scheduled to take place in India.
India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral tie since 2012 due to the political tensions between the two nations.
“This is an ICC matter. We have discussed our concerns. There is a ‘Host Agreement’ that states very clearly that host nation (India in this case) will have to provide visas and accommodation for teams that are due to participate in the T20 World Cup and Pakistan is one of them,” Khan told PTI in an exclusive interaction.
“We have sought assurances from the ICC that our players will receive visas and ICC is now taking this up with the BCCI because that directive and confirmation will clearly need to come from their government,” Khan said.
Adding further, Khan said the PCB has also aksed for a deadline till December-January for the confirmation. “We have asked for a deadline till December-January, which we believe is the right thing. We expect a response from the ICC on whether our players and officials will receive visas to participate in the tournament.”
“If it (visas) isn’t (there), then like any nation would expect, we would also expect ICC to take that up directly with India and the Indian government through the BCCI to resolve this matter,” Wasim Khan added.
The PCB CEO gave a clear stance on holding a bilateral series between the two countries. Wasim said that it is not possible to hold any such series in the near future. “I think we have to be realistic about the India and Pakistan bilateral series… BCCI needs to get permission before they can play Pakistan in any bilateral series, home, away, or even on neutral venues. I think on both sides, there is plenty of cricket to be played against other countries, but sadly for fans and players in both countries, it does not look like that India and Pakistan will be playing bilateral series in the foreseeable future,” he explained.
“So there is no current planning that we can factor into the next FTP (2023-31) unless circumstances and viewpoint changes of the Indian government,” the PCB CEO added.