The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked the BCCI to provide a written assurance confirming that Pakistan’s national contingent, fans, and scribes will be granted visas for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India. While addressing this issue, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani insisted that if this demand is not met, the board will ask the ICC to relocate the T20 World Cup to the UAE.
During a press conference at the PCB headquarters in Lahore, Mani said, “We are not seeking written assurance for the visas of the national team only, but for the fans, officials and journalists as well. We have told the ICC that India should give written assurances by the end of March so that we know where we stand or we will push for the relocation of the World Cup from India to UAE.”
Mani further added that PCB has also sought written assurances from the BCCI regarding the security arrangements for the entire Pakistan contingent due to the tense relationship between the two countries. Despite the immense popularity of India vs Pakistan matches, bilateral cricket between the two nations seems like a story of a distant past. Since there is not even a slight indication of such events in the future, Mani said that PCB plans to run the country’s cricket without India.
India is scheduled to host the World Cup in October-November this year.
During the conference, Mani also highlighted the PCB’s effort in hosting international cricket and an entire domestic season despite the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed disappointment over Australia’s decision to not tour South Africa. He said that had Pakistan and West Indies not toured England, it would have cost ECB around 3.5 million pounds. “Similarly, had India not travelled to Australia it would have made Cricket Australia face heavy losses,” added Mani. Last year, Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Regarding the players’ vaccination, the PCB chairman is hopeful that all its cricketers would get vaccinated by March and revealed that the board’s upper brass is in touch with National Command Operation Centre, which is coordinating Pakistan’s coronavirus response.