The Indian government has approved visas for the Pakistan cricket team, travelling to the neighbouring country to play the World Cup, sources within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told Aaj News on Monday.
They added that the Indian government has issued a no-objection certificate related to the security clearance for the national team.
The Indian High Commission has received the visas and the passports would be received by Tuesday (tomorrow), sources said, adding that the national squad as per the schedule would leave for India on September 27.
The development comes after the PCB wrote a letter to the International Cricket Council, raising the issue of visa delay for the national cricket team. The board reminded the council that it was their responsibility to issue visas for Pakistan.
The 50-over World Cup is scheduled to start on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, with an opening match between England and New Zealand.
“There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for ICC World Cup,” PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq said in a statement. “We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup.”
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The cricket board described the situation as “a matter of disappointment” for the national side.
Frosty relations between the two countries have affected the cricket and many believe the delay was caused due to the same reason. The last white-ball bilateral series was held in 2012-13.
Earlier, there were reports that visas could be issued for participating in the ICC World Cup on Monday (today).
Moreover, ESPNcricinfo also confirmed the development while quoting the International Cricket Council.
The visas were approved two days before the squad was set to travel to India.
Pakistan are drawn to play India at Ahmedabad’s 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi stadium on October 15 – the first time they will meet on either’s home turf since 2012.
The neighbours are bitter political adversaries and usually only meet in international tournaments at neutral venues, most recently during the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.
(With input from Web Desk)