Pakistan cricket team is still struggling with the visa issue ahead of flying to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. After cancelling their team bonding trip to Dubai, the Pakistan team is scheduled to fly to Dubai on Wednesday, September 27 morning and then to Hyderabad on the same day in the evening. However, despite with just less than 48 hours remaining, the Indian visa hasn't been issued to the Pakistan side.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised the issue with the ICC last week and wrote about the same, however, it hasn't been resolved yet and PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq expressed his disappointment with how the matter has been handled, given it is happening before a big event like the World Cup.
"There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup. We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup," Farooq was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"It's a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through this uncertainty ahead of the major tournament. We have been reminding [the organisers] about their obligations from last three years and it has all come down to the last two days with our first warm game scheduled on September 29. We were forced to cancel our original plan to organise team-building exercises in Dubai on the way to India. We have had to rework our plan and book new flights, but these plans are subject to issuance of visas," he further added.
The visa application from PCB began in August last week but with Asia Cup being hybrid, the team was travelling to and fro between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as per the report. For application passports were needed and hence, that could happen only on September 19. The visa situation between the two countries has been affected due to political climate. Since 2012, the bilaterals between the two countries haven't happened and the only time Pakistan came to India was in 2016 for the T20 World Cup.
The Indian delegation went to Pakistan during the recent Asia Cup for the first time since 2008 and since BCCI refused to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the tournament was played in the hybrid model.
Pakistan play their first warm-up game in Hyderabad on Friday, September 29 against New Zealand and will be hoping to be in India in time to prepare for the match.